CodaLab for Data-Driven Research – Theme Roundtables


August 7, 2014



Avinava Dubey, Pragnya Maduskar, Simon Mercer, and Evelyne Viegas

Avinava Dubey is a PhD student in the Machine Learning Department at Carnegie Mellon University working with Prof. Eric Xing. He is interested in distributed machine learning and its application to Natural Language Processing and computational biology. In the past, during 2 years at IBM Research and Masters at IIT Bombay, he has worked on information retrieval and semi-supervised learning.

Dr. Mercer has a background in zoology and has worked in various aspects of bioinformatics over the years. Having managed the development of the Canadian Bioinformatics Resource, a national life science service-provision network in Canada, he worked as Director of Software Engineering at Gene Codes Corporation before moving to the External Research team of Microsoft Research. In his current role as Director of Health and Wellbeing, he manages collaborations between Microsoft and academia in the area of healthcare research. Dr. Mercer’s interests include bioinformatics, translational medicine, and the management of scientific data.

Evelyne Viegas is the Director of Semantic Computing at Microsoft Research, based in Redmond, Washington, United States. Semantic computing is about interacting with data in rich, safe, and semantically meaningful ways, to create the path from data to information, knowledge, and intelligence. In her current role, Evelyne is building initiatives that focus on information seen as an enabler of innovation, working in partnership with universities and government agencies worldwide. In particular, she is creating programs related to computational intelligence research to drive open innovation and agile experimentation via cloud-based services, as well as projects to advance the state of the art in machine learning, knowledge representation, and reasoning under uncertainty at web scale.

Prior to her present role, Evelyne worked as a technical lead at Microsoft delivering Natural Language Processing components to projects for MSN, Office, and Windows. Before Microsoft, and after completing her Ph.D. in France, she worked as a Principal Investigator at the Computing Research Laboratory in New Mexico on an ontology-based Machine Translation project. Evelyne serves on international editorial, program, and award committees.