About Talia Kohen
Shortly after graduating from Cornell ECE in 2006, Kohen went to work for Raytheon with a position focused on tracking and discrimination. She is currently completing a master’s degree in computer science on the Evolution of Words in The Google Books Corpus. She has implemented three algorithms, two known, and one she designed and later found in a textbook, and with those has been able to analyze one billion lines of text in two-and-a-half hours. During her master’s work, Kohen independently developed by mere visualization a result in mathematics known as “Euler’s F-Vector”.
Kohen has received numerous awards and honors including: Anita Borg Birthday Celebration Director in Israel; a Google OutStander; Google Anita Borg Scholarship for Women in Europe and the Middle East Finalist; Google Campus Ambassador; Microsoft Israel Women of Excellence Program; Microsoft Excellence Summer Camp; ACM XRDS feature issue editor for the IoT Edition; IEEE International Radar Conference Poster Session Co-Chair and Steering Committee Raytheon Individual Performer Achievement Award – Ionospheric study Raytheon Spot Award; Raytheon Women’s Network MDC Site Representative; and was a Delegate to Grace Hopper Conference for Women In Computing. Kohen is the CEO of FemTech, a community for women in STEM in Israel. Upon completion of her masters degree, Kohen plans to earn a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence. She hopes to be the CEO of her own tech company some day.
Great Ideas in current Computer Science Research
Computer Science (CS) Research is an emergent and exciting area. Classical parts of CS are being reshaped to fit a more modern concept of computing. One domain that is experiencing a renaissance is Natural Language Processing (NLP). Classical NLP tasks are being expanded to include time-series information allowing us to capture evolutionary dynamics, and not just static information. For example, the word “bitch” was historically synonymous with a female dog, and more recently became (pejoratively) synonymous with the word “feminist.”
Fig1: The Trend of “Feminist” Over Time and Its Close Relatives
Traditional thesauruses do not contain information on when this synonymy was generated, nor the surrounding events that gave rise to this. This additional information about the historicity of the linguistic change is so innovative that it blurs the boundary between disparate disciplines: NLP and Computational Linguistics. This added dimension also allows us to challenge the foundations of traditional NLP research.
Language is the foundation of civilization. The story of the Tower of Babel in the Bible describes language as the uniting force among humanity, the key to its technological advancement and ability to become like G-d. Speaking one same language, Babel’s inhabitants were able to work together to develop a city and build a tower high enough to reach heaven. Seeing this, G-d mixes up their language, taking away the source of the inhabitants’ power by breaking down their mutual understanding. This story illustrates the power and cultural significance of universal language. Continue reading →
In 2017, General Electric (GE), one of the largest American companies that specializes in oil and gas, healthcare, aviation and software development, and Eurelectric, the union of the electric industry in Europe, partnered to create an Ecomagination Challenge hackathon. Ecomagination refers to “GE’s growth strategy to enhance resource productivity and reduce environmental impact at a global scale through commercial solutions for our customers and through our own operations”. The focus was on building digital solutions to help decarbonize energy and transportation in Europe, and the hackathon was held in Berlin between June 12-13, where over 100 participants from around the world came together to compete on solving the two challenges presented: Electrification and Advanced Manufacturing. Continue reading →