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ACM, Infosys Foundation Honor Leader in Machine Learning

David Blei Developed Powerful Modeling Techniques to Speed Information Retrieval from Large Data Collections

ACM, Infosys Foundation Honor Leader in Machine Learning

David Blei

Award Citation
For pioneering the area of topic modeling, which has had profound influence on machine learning foundations as well as industrial practice.

Longer Citation
David Blei is a leader in the area of large data analysis through machine learning. One of his central contributions is the rigorous treatment of the area of topic modeling, wherein a large data set is mathematically decomposed into latent themes. His approach is based on hierarchical Bayesian models using hidden variables, together with efficient computational methods for estimating model parameters. This work has inspired the work of many others, resulting in new research programs, workshops, and graduate courses.

Blei is especially well known for his leadership on the landmark paper (with Jordan and Ng) on Latent Dirichlet Allocation. This work has been cited thousands of times and is used in a range of applications including document summarization, indexing, genomics and image database analysis. It has had definitive impact in a number of web applications at companies ranging from startups to internet giants.

David Blei, an associate professor at Princeton University, has written extensively on topic modeling and his pursuit of new statistical tools for discovering and exploiting the hidden patterns that pervade modern, real-world data sets. He will join Columbia University in the Fall of 2014 as a Professor of Statistics and Computer Science. He will also be a member of Columbia's Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering.

Blei is a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and the NSF Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. His recognitions also include the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award and the New York Academy of Sciences Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists. Blei earned a B.Sc. degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Brown University, and a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Award citation page

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Read ACM's news release on the 2013 ACM-Infosys Foundation Award.

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About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

About the Infosys Foundation
Established in 1996, the Infosys Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Infosys and has the sole objective of fulfilling the social responsibility of the company by creating opportunities and working toward a more equitable society. The Infosys Foundation has made effective strides in the areas of healthcare, education, social rehabilitation, and the arts. The company contributes up to one percent of its profit to the foundation each year.

About Infosys
Infosys is a global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing solutions. We enable clients, in more than 30 countries, to stay a step ahead of emerging business trends and outperform the competition. We help them transform and thrive in a changing world by co-creating breakthrough solutions that combine strategic insights and execution excellence. Visit to see how Infosys (NYSE: INFY), with $7.4B in annual revenues and 158,000+ employees, is Building Tomorrow's Enterprise® today.