Daphne Koller

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Daphne Koller is an Israeli and American Professor at the Stanford University Department of Computer Science and an MacArthur Fellow. She is one of the founders of the online learning platform Coursera. Her general field of research is artificial intelligence and its biomedical applications. The 2004 MIT Technology Review article entitled “10 Emerging Technologies That Will Change Your World” on Bayesian machine learning featured Koller.

In 1985 Koller graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at the age of 17 and in 1986, at the age of 18, received his Masters degree from the same institution. She completed her PhD with Joseph Halpern at Stanford in 1993.

Following her PhD, Koller did postdoctoral research from 1993 to 1995 at the University of California, Berkeley, and in 1995 joined the Stanford University Faculty of Computer Science. In 2004 she was appointed a MacArthur Fellow, in 2011 was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and in 2014 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Koller was the first ever $150,000 ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in Computing Sciences in April 2008. Coursera was launched by she and Andrew Ng, fellow Stanford IT professor at the AI Laboratory. She served as co-CEO with Ng and then as Coursera President. She has been recognized for her contributions to online learners by being named one of the 10 most important people of Newsweek in 2010, one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2012, and one of Fast Company’s most creative people in 2014. She left Calico in 2018 to join Insitro, a drug discovery startup. Koller focuses primarily on representation, inference and learning and decision-making, with a focus on computer vision and computer biology applications. In collaboration with Suchi Saria and Anna Penn of Stanford University, Koller developed PhysiScore that employs a number of information elements to predict whether premature babies are likely to have health problems. From February 2012, she provided a free online course on the subject, including Lise Getoor, Mehran Sahami, Suchi Saria, Eran Segal, and Ben Taskar.

Her distinctions and awards include:

1994: Award for Arthur Samuel Thesis

1996: Faculty Fellowship of the Sloan Foundation

1998: Young Investigator Award of the Naval Research Office

1999: Early Career Presidential Award for Scientists and Engineers

2001: Computers and Pension Prize for IJCAI

2003: Stanford Cox Medal

2004: Oswald G. Villard Fellow for Stanford University Undergraduate Teaching

2007: ACM Computing Prize

2010: 10 Most Important People of Newsweek

2010: 100 Game Changers from Huffington Post

2011: Elected to the National Engineering Academy

2013: 100 Most Influential People of Time Magazine

2014: American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow Elected

2014: Most Creative Business People Fast Company

2017: ISCB Fellow elected to the International Computational Biology Society

Koller has contributed one chapter to the 2018 book Architects of intelligence: The Truth About AI by the American futurist Martin Ford from the People Building it.

Koller is married to Opus Capital’s venture capitalist Dan Avida.

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