Regina Barzilay

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Regina Barzilay
Born1970 (age 48–49)
Alma mater
Scientific career
FieldsComputer science
Natural language processing
ThesisInformation Fusion for Multidocument. Summarization: Paraphrasing and Generation (2003)
Doctoral advisorKathleen McKeown[4]

Regina Barzilay (born 1970) is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Her research interests are in natural language processing and applications of deep learning to chemistry and oncology.


Barzilay received her Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.[when?] She obtained her PhD in Computer Science from Columbia University for research supervised by Kathleen McKeown.[4]

Career and research[edit]

After her PhD, she spent a year as a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University.[5] She was appointed as Delta Electronics Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT in 2016.[6] She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, which prompted her to conduct research in oncology.[7] Barzilay won the MacArthur Fellowship in 2017.[8]

For her doctoral dissertation at Columbia University, she led the development of Newsblaster, which recognized stories from different news sources as being about the same basic subject, and then paraphrased elements from the stories to create a summary.[9]

In computational linguistics, Barzilay created algorithms that learned annotations from common languages (i.e. English) to analyze less understood languages.

Prompted by her experience with breast cancer, Barzilay is applying machine learning to oncology. She is collaborating with physicians and students to devise deep learning models that utilize images, text, and structured data to identify trends that affect early diagnosis, treatment, and disease prevention.[10]

Awards and honours[edit]

In 2017, Barzilay won the MacArthur Fellowship, known as the "Genius Grant", for "developing machine learning methods that enable computers to process and analyze vast amounts of human language data."[8][11] She is also a recipient of various awards including the NSF Career Award, the MIT Technology Review TR-35 Award, Microsoft Faculty Fellowship and several Best Paper Awards at NAACL and ACL.[11] Her teaching has also been recognized by MIT as she won the Jamieson Teaching Award in 2016.[11] She was nominated an AAAI Fellow in 2018 by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.


  1. ^ "CAREER: Content and Cohesion Models, with Applications to Text Summarization and Natural Language Generation".
  2. ^ "Regina Barzilay, 34 / Teaching computers to read and write". Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  3. ^ "Regina Barzilay". Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  4. ^ a b "Regina Barzilay, Computer Science PhD '03, Wins MacArthur "Genius" Grant". Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  5. ^ "'Genius grants' to Israeli computer linguist, opera kingpin with Israeli parents". Times of Israel.
  6. ^ "Regina Barzilay named Delta Electronics Professor". MIT News. Retrieved 2017-11-23.
  7. ^ "MIT Professor, MacArthur Genius Fellow, Uses Computer Learning To Predict Cancer Risks". WBUR. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  8. ^ a b "Regina Barzilay". Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  9. ^ "The Push for News Returns". WIRED. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  10. ^ "Putting data in the hands of doctors". MIT News. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  11. ^ a b c "Regina Barzilay". Retrieved 2017-11-23.