2013 Yahoo ACE Award Recipients Selected

Sep 19, 2013

From idea to product innovation, Yahoo Labs is responsible for the algorithms behind the quality of the Web experience for hundreds of millions of users. The scientists at Yahoo Labs strongly believe that academic collaboration across a breadth of disciplines enhances the quality of those Web experiences. As such, Yahoo Labs scientists work to cultivate meaningful relationships with colleagues in academia to pioneer innovations that improve the Internet generally, and the Yahoo experience more specifically, in both evolutionary and revolutionary ways.

It is with the spirit of collaboration and innovation that Yahoo Labs is proud to announce the 2013 Yahoo ACE (Academic Career Enhancement) Award recipients for the 2013-2014 academic year. These are five top young professors at leading research universities around the world who are competitively selected among many promising first- and second-year faculty members at institutions conducting Yahoo-relevant academic research. The Award includes an unrestricted monetary gift which may be used in any way the recipients see fit to help get their academic careers off to a great start. Previously, funds have been used toward purchasing research-related hardware and software, as well as hiring students to work on research projects.


This year’s ACE recipients include:

Professor Katie Davis, University of Washington

Katie Davis - 2013 ACE recipientDr. Davis is an assistant professor at the University of Washington Information School, where she studies the role of digital media technologies in adolescents' academic, social, and moral lives.

Digital youth and how younger generations use technology and are motivated to learn skills via technology and digital media are important areas of interest to Yahoo. Davis’ expertise in youth culture and technology are directly relevant to research underway at Yahoo Labs’ Mobile Research group. Davis is considered to be one of the top faculty conducting research in this area in the US and internationally.


Professor Daniel Deutch, Tel Aviv University

Daniel Deutch - 2013 ACE recipientDr. Deutch is an assistant professor in the Computer Science department of Tel Aviv University.

Deutch's research focuses on advanced database applications and Web data management, studying both theoretical and practical aspects of issues such as data provenance, analysis of Web applications and data, and dealing with data uncertainty. One of his current projects includes the design of infrastructure for harvesting information from crowds. This project and Deutch’s technical interests align well with research underway at Yahoo Labs.      

Professor Brent Hecht, University of Minnesota

Brent Hecht - 2013 ACE recipient Dr. Hecht is an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Minnesota. With interests that lie at the intersection of human–computer interaction, geography, and big data, Hecht’s research centers on the relationship between big data and human factors like culture. A major focus of his work involves volunteered geographic information and its application in location-aware technologies. His background makes him uniquely qualified to tackle problems that involve both computer science and geography. Dr. Hecht's research will have lasting repercussions across a plurality of research at Yahoo Labs, from human-computer interaction to information retrieval to multimedia.  

Professor Mark Silberstein, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology

Mark Silberstein - 2013 ACE recipientDr. Silberstein is an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. He is a specialist in high-performance computing, distributed storage, operating systems, and genetic analysis.

 Aspects of Silberstein’s research are tightly aligned with areas of interest to the Systems Research team at Yahoo Labs in Haifa. Scientists at Yahoo Labs intend to collaborate with Silberstein on various projects including the scalable implementations of machine-learning algorithms on high-performance hardware (GPGPU, etc).


Professor Yizhou Sun, Northeastern University

Yizhou Sun - 2013 ACE recipientDr. Sun is an assistant professor of computer science at Northeastern University. Sun’s principal research interest is in large-scale information and social networks, and more generally in data mining, database systems, statistics, machine learning, information retrieval, and network science, with a focus on modeling novel problems and proposing scalable algorithms for large-scale, real-world applications. These applications include, but are not limited to: social computing, social media, business intelligence, medical and health informatics, and cyber-physical systems. Scientists at Yahoo Labs look forward to working with Sun to explore Yahoo's vast data by mining heterogeneous information networks.   Congratulations to each distinguished professor. At Yahoo Labs, we look forward to enhancing these important relationships with productive collaborations for years to come.