William A. Woods   

Distinguished Software Engineer, ITA Software Inc., Cambridge, MA.

Previous Work at Sun Microsystems Laboratories

Brief Biography

Dr. William A. Woods is internationally known for his research in natural language processing, continuous speech understanding, knowledge representation, and knowledge-based search technology. He is currently interested in using technology to help people organize and use information in organizations. He earned his doctorate at Harvard University, where he then served as an Assistant Professor and later as a Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Computer Science. He is a past president of the Association for Computational Linguistics, a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Woods built one of the first natural language question answering systems (LUNAR) to answer questions about the Apollo 11 moon rocks for the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center while he was at Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN) in Cambridge MA. At BBN, he was a Principal Scientist and manager of the AI Department in the '70's and early '80's. He was the principal investigator for BBN's early work in natural language processing and knowledge representation and for its first project in continuous speech understanding. Subsequently, he was Chief Scientist for Applied Expert Systems, Inc. and Principal Technologist for On Technology Inc., two startup companies in Cambridge MA. In 1991, he joined Sun Microsystems Laboratories as a Principal Scientist and Distinguished Engineer, and in 2007, he joined ITA Software, Inc. as a Distinguished Software Engineer.

Selected Papers (more)

"Meaning and Links: a Semantic Odyssey," AI Magazine, Vol 28, No 4 (Winter 2007, available at: http://www.aaai.org/ojs/index.php/aimagazine/article/viewArticle/2069)

"Searching vs. Finding," ACM Queue, Vol. 2, Issue 2 (April 2004, available at: http://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=988405)

"Linguistic Knowledge can Improve Information Retrieval," by William A. Woods, Lawrence A. Bookman, Ann Houston, Robert J. Kuhns, Paul Martin, and Stephen Green, Proceedings of ANLP-2000, Seattle, WA, May 1-3, 2000, (Final version with author's introduction is available at: http://research.sun.com/features/tenyears/volcd/papers/woods.htm).

"Aggressive Morphology for Robust Lexical Coverage," Proceedings of ANLP-2000, Seattle, WA, May 1-3, 2000, (available at: http://www.aclweb.org/anthology/A/A00/A00-1030.pdf)

"Conceptual Indexing: A Better Way to Organize Knowledge," Technical Report SMLI TR-97-61, Sun Microsystems Laboratories, Mountain View, CA, April, 1997. (available at: http://www.sun.com/research/techrep/1997/abstract-61.html)

Copyright © 2009, William A. Woods. All rights reserved. Last updated December 21, 2009.