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Mari Ostendorf

System Design Methodologies Professor
Data Sciences
215D ECE
Campus Box 352500
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: 206-221-5748
External Web Page: Transformation, Interpretation and Analysis of Language (TIAL) Group


Mari Ostendorf joined the University of Washington Electrical & Computer Engineering Department in 1999. She is an Endowed Professor of System Design Methodologies in the ECE Department, an Adjunct Professor in CSE and Linguistics, as well as Associate Vice Provost for Research. She is a Fellow of the IEEE, ISCA and ACL, a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences, and a former Australian-American Fulbright Scholar. Prof. Ostendorf has published over 270 papers on a variety of topics in speech and language processing.  In 2017, she served as a faculty advisor for the student team winning the inaugural AlexaPrize competition to build a socialbot, and conversational AI is a focus of her current work. Her research explores dynamic models for understanding and generating speech and text, particularly in multi-party contexts, and it contributes to a variety of applications, from education to clinical and scientific information extraction.

Awards and Honors

Member, Washington State Academy of Sciences, 2019

IEEE James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award, 2018

IEEE Signal Processing Society Meritorious Service Award, 2018

Faculty Advisor of Winning Team for 2017 Alexa Prize

IEEE Signal Processing Society Distinguished Lecturer, 2013-2014

Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance Distinguished Visiting Fellow, 2012, Edinburgh

Fulbright Scholar, 2012-2013

IEEE Hewlett-Packard/Harriett B. Rigas Award, 2010

Fellow: IEEE 2005, ISCA 2008, ACL 2018

Recent Publications

  • V. Zayats, T. Tran, R. Wright, C. Mansfield and M. Ostendorf, ``Disfluencies and human speech transcription errors,'' Proc. Interspeech, 2019.
  • T. Tran, J. Yuan, Y. Liu and M. Ostendorf, ``On the role of style in parsing speech with neural models,'' Proc. Interspeech, 2019.
  • F. Nadeem, H. Nguyen, Y. Liu and M. Ostendorf, "Automated essay scoring with discourse-aware neural models," Proc. Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications, 2019.
  • Y. Luan, D. Wadden, L. He, A. Shah, M. Ostendorf and H. Hajishirzi, "A general framework for information extraction using dynamic span graphs,'' Proc. NAACL, 2019
  • H. Cheng, H. Fang and M. Ostendorf, "A dynamic speaker model for conversational interactions,'' Proc. NAACL, 2019
  • V. Zayats and M. Ostendorf, "Giving attention to the unexpected: using prosody innovations in disfluency detection,'' Proc. NAACL, 2019.
  • K. Lybarger, M. Ostendorf and M. Yetisgen, "Using Neural Multi-task Learning to Extract Substance Abuse Information from Clinical Notes,'' Proc. Symposium of the American Medical Informatics Association, 2018
  • A. Jaech and M. Ostendorf, "Low-rank RNN adaptation for context-aware language modeling,'' Trans. Association of Computational Linguistics, pp. 497-510, 2018
  • F. Nadeem and M. Ostendorf, "Estimating linguistic complexity for science texts,'' Proc. Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications, 2018


Current students:

Vicky Zayats, Trang Tran, Hao Cheng, Farah Nadeem, Bo Roy Lu,

Kevin Lybarger (co-supervised with M. Yetisgen), Ellen Wu (co-supervised with H. Hajishirzi)

Recent graduates:

Yi Luan, 2019 -- Google AI

Hao Fang, 2019 -- Microsoft, Semantic Machines

Aaron Jaech, 2018 -- Facebook

Ji He, 2017 -- Citadel