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Daphne Koller

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Daphne Koller
Koller in 2019
Born (1968-08-27) August 27, 1968 (age 55)
EducationHebrew University of Jerusalem (BSc, MSc)
Stanford University (PhD)
Known forMachine learning
Graphical models
AwardsISCB Fellow (2017)
IJCAI Computers and Thought Award (2001)
MacArthur Fellow (2004)
PECASE (1999)
ACM Prize in Computing (2007)
Scientific career
FieldsMachine learning
Computational biology
Computer vision
Artificial intelligence[1]
InstitutionsStanford University
University of California, Berkeley
ThesisFrom Knowledge to Belief (1994)
Doctoral advisorJoseph Halpern
Doctoral students

Daphne Koller (Hebrew: דפנה קולר; born August 27, 1968) is an Israeli-American computer scientist. She was a professor in the department of computer science at Stanford University[4] and a MacArthur Foundation fellowship recipient.[1] She is one of the founders of Coursera, an online education platform. Her general research area is artificial intelligence[5][6] and its applications in the biomedical sciences.[7] Koller was featured in a 2004 article by MIT Technology Review titled "10 Emerging Technologies That Will Change Your World"[8] concerning the topic of Bayesian machine learning.[9][10]



Koller received a bachelor's degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1985, at the age of 17, and a master's degree from the same institution in 1986, at the age of 18.[11] She completed her PhD at Stanford in 1993 under the supervision of Joseph Halpern.[2]

Career and research

External videos
video icon "Daphne Koller: What we're learning from online education", TED talk, June 2012
video icon Daphne Koller, Co-Founder of Coursera – February 20, 2013, Darden School of Business

After her PhD, Koller did postdoctoral research at University of California, Berkeley from 1993 to 1995 under Stuart J. Russell,[12] and joined the faculty of the Stanford University computer science department in 1995. She was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2004. She was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2011 for contributions to representation, inference, and learning in probabilistic models with applications to robotics, vision, and biology. She was also elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014 and as a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2023.[13]

In April 2008, Koller was awarded the first ever $150,000 ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in Computing Sciences.[14]

She and Andrew Ng, a fellow Stanford computer science professor in the AI lab, founded Coursera in 2012. She served as the co-CEO with Ng, and then as president of Coursera. She was recognized for her contributions to online education by being named one of Newsweek's 10 Most Important People in 2010, Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2012, and Fast Company's Most Creative People in 2014.[15]

She left Coursera in 2016 to become chief computing officer at Calico.[15] In 2018, she left Calico to start and lead Insitro, a drug discovery startup.[16] The company operates an automated lab equipment running on algorithms that use its own in vitro disease models.[17] The process allows the combination of machine learning and genomics to predict as well as test treatments for diseases.[17]

Koller is primarily interested in representation, inference, learning, and decision making, with a focus on applications to computer vision and computational biology.[18] Along with Suchi Saria and Anna Penn of Stanford University, Koller developed PhysiScore, which uses various data elements to predict whether premature babies are likely to have health issues.[19]

Koller’s work on artificial intelligence builds on an 18th-century theorem about probability based on the Bayes rule named after the mathematician Thomas Bayes.[20] The approach underpins the process of transforming a current assumption about an event into a more accurate assumption based on more evidence.[20] Koller is a leading figure in research that expanded the existing Bayesian-related software so that it is capable of discerning patterns in vast collections of data.[20] In 2009, she published a textbook on probabilistic graphical models together with Nir Friedman.[21] She offered a free online course on the subject starting in February 2012.[22]

In 2020, Koller co-founded the startup Engageli, which developed an alternative to the Zoom app. Its online learning platform addressed problems such as low student engagement, featuring what the company called as “superior” learning experience that includes real-time evaluations to determine whether students are keeping up.[23]

Her former doctoral students include Lise Getoor,[2] Mehran Sahami,[2] Suchi Saria,[3] Eran Segal,[2] and Ben Taskar.[2]

Koller was interviewed by BBC Radio 4 on The Life Scientific broadcast on 27 September 2022.[24]

Honors and awards


Her honors and awards include:



Koller's book authorships include:

  • Koller contributed one chapter to the 2018 book Architects of Intelligence: The Truth About AI from the People Building it by the American futurist Martin Ford.[33]
  • Probabilistic Graphical Models: Principles and Techniques by Daphne Koller and Nir Friedman.[34]

Personal life


Koller is married to Dan Avida, a venture capitalist at Opus Capital.[11]



Media related to Daphne Koller at Wikimedia Commons

  1. ^ a b Daphne Koller publications indexed by Google Scholar Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Daphne Koller at the Mathematics Genealogy Project Edit this at Wikidata
  3. ^ a b Saria, Suchi (2011). The digital patient : machine learning techniques for analyzing electronic health record data. stanford.edu (PhD thesis). Stanford University. OCLC 748681635. Free access icon
  4. ^ "Daphne Koller". ai.stanford.edu.
  5. ^ New York Times Profile of Daphne Koller "Pursuing the Next Level of Artificial Intelligence"
  6. ^ Daphne Koller at DBLP Bibliography Server Edit this at Wikidata
  7. ^ Segal, E.; Shapira, M.; Regev, A.; Pe'er, D.; Botstein, D.; Koller, D.; Friedman, N. (2003). "Module networks: Identifying regulatory modules and their condition-specific regulators from gene expression data". Nature Genetics. 34 (2): 166–176. doi:10.1038/ng1165. PMID 12740579. S2CID 6146032. Closed access icon
  8. ^ "10 Emerging Technologies That Will Change Your World", MIT Technology Review, February 2004
  9. ^ 2009. Graphical models (with Nir Friedman). MIT Press. ISBN 978-0262013192
  10. ^ Daphne Koller at TED Edit this at Wikidata
  11. ^ a b "Profile details: Daphne Koller". marquiswhoswho.com. Marquis Who's Who. Retrieved August 7, 2012. (subscription required)
  12. ^ "Daphne Koller, Stanford University". phdtree.org. 23 November 2013. Archived from the original on 23 November 2013.
  13. ^ "2023 NAS Election". www.nasonline.org. Retrieved 2023-05-05.
  14. ^ "Daphne Koller". awards.acm.org.
  15. ^ a b "Daphne Koller Bids Farewell to Coursera, Hello to Calico - EdSurge News". edsurge.com. 18 August 2016.
  16. ^ "AI Researcher Daphne Koller Heading New Machine Learning Drug Discovery Venture". mobihealthnews.com. 2 May 2018.
  17. ^ a b D'Onfro, Jillian. "Coursera Cofounder Daphne Koller Melds AI And Biology In Drug Startup Insitro". Forbes. Retrieved 2023-06-02.
  18. ^ "10 Machine Learning Experts You Need to Know - Dataconomy". Dataconomy.com. 2014-09-16. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  19. ^ "Artificial Intelligence – A Brave New World for Pharma | eyeforpharma". social.eyeforpharma.com. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  20. ^ a b c Markoff, John (2008-05-03). "Pursuing the Next Level of Artificial Intelligence". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-06-02.
  21. ^ Daphne Koller and Nir Friedman (2009). Probabilistic Graphical Models. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-01319-2.
  22. ^ "Probabilistic Graphical Models 1: Representation - Coursera". Coursera.org.
  23. ^ Susan, Adams (October 14, 2020). "Coursera Founder Launches Zoom Challenger for Higher Ed". Forbes. Retrieved June 2, 2023.
  24. ^ "Can computers discover new medicines?". Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  25. ^ a b "CURRICULUM VITAE FOR DAPHNE KOLLER". ai.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  26. ^ "Hennessy announces eight new Bass University Fellows". news.stanford.edu. Stanford University. Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  27. ^ Emanuel, Ezekiel (18 April 2013). "Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People". Time.
  28. ^ "Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business". fastcompany.com. Archived from the original on 2019-05-30. Retrieved 2016-10-27.
  29. ^ "February 13, 2017: The International Society for Computational Biology Names Seven Members as the ISCB Fellows Class of 2017". iscb.org. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  30. ^ "The ACM AAAI Allen Newell, computer science and other disciplines". awards.acm.org. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  31. ^ "Daphne Koller, PhD". Grace Hopper Celebration. Retrieved 2023-04-24.
  32. ^ "2023 NAS Election". www.nasonline.org. Retrieved 2023-05-05.
  33. ^ Falcon, William (November 30, 2018). "This Is The Future Of AI According To 23 World-Leading AI Experts". Forbes. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  34. ^ Daphne Koller and Nir Friedman (2009). Probabilistic Graphical Models. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-01319-2.