Marilyn Walker is a Professor of Computer Science and head of the Natural Language and Dialogue Systems Lab in the Baskin School of Engineering at University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). She received her Ph.D. in 1993 in Computer Science from University of Pennsylvania. From 2003 to 2009, she was a Professor of Computer Science at University of Sheffield where she was a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Fellow, recruited to the U.K. under Britain's "Brain Gain" program. From 1996 to 2003, she was a Principal Member of Research Staff in the Speech and Information Processing Lab at AT&T Bell Labs and AT&T Research. While she was at AT&T, she was a PI on two DARPA projects. The first was the Communicator Evaluation project, where she was the chair of the Evaluation Committee and led the design of the cross-site evaluation experiments with implementation help from NIST. The second project funded by DARPA was the AT&T Communicator project where she developed a new architecture for spoken dialogue systems and statistical methods for dialogue management and generation. While at AT&T she received the AT&T Labs Mentoring Award in 2001 for her excellence in mentoring Ph.D. students and junior researchers. She has served the ACL community as an ACL program chair, reviewer for dozens of confereces, and as senior area chair, organized many workshops. She was a member of the founding board for the North American ACL, serving to set up and orchestrate its first conference between 1998 and 2001. She was also the program co-chair and local organizer of the Intelligent Virtual Agents conference held at UCSC in 2012. She has supervised 16 doctoral students and 30 undergraduate researchers. She has published over 200 papers, and has 10 granted U.S. patents. Her H-index, a measure of research impact and excellence is 49.
Speaker webpage: http://users.soe.ucsc.edu/~maw/