Prof. McKeown a Woman of Vision

Kathleen R. McKeown has won the prestigious Anita Borg Woman of Vision Award in the Innovation category for her seminal contributions to the natural language processing area.
The award is given by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology in three categories: Innovation, Leadership and Social Impact. McKeown, the Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor of Computer Science, won the award in the Innovation category for her work in text generation, which involves summarizing news stories as well as data such as stock market statistics.
“In the area of automatic text summarization, I am known for my work on condensing and integrating information from multiple news articles on a single topic and generating a paragraph summary,” says McKeown. “This work was implemented as part of Newsblaster, which first appeared in 2001 and has been a testbed for many different approaches to summarization that I and my students have taken.”
The award cites McKeown for her “seminal contributions to the natural language processing area, also called computational linguistics, within the general areas of artificial intelligence, information extraction, and human machine interaction. More specifically, McKeown has made pioneering contributions to natural language generation; this field of research focuses on enabling computers to effectively utilize natural language.”
“I am pleased that my work is recognized and particularly via the Anita Borg Award,” McKeown says. “Anita Borg was a strong woman who made significant contributions to computer science and to the advancement of women in the field.”
Two other winners of this year’s award include Kristina M. Johnson, Under Secretary for Energy for the U.S. Department of Energy, and Lila Ibrahim, General Manager, Emerging Markets Platform Group of Intel Corporation. Johnson won in the Leadership category and Ibrahim in the Social Impact category.
According to the institute, the three winners were selected from a field of highly qualified women, all of whom are engaged in technology professions in industry, academia, non profits or government. Candidates for the awards are considered based on their records of consistent, significant contributions to technology invention and application; effecting positive changes in the ways in which technology impacts society; and demonstrated leadership in the technology industry that extends beyond their place of work.


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