Recent national awards and accolades distinguish Rochester faculty : News Center

January 4, 2023

(University of Rochester illustration / Julia Joshpe)

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University of Rochester faculty regularly earn regional, national, and international awards and honors for their professional contributions to research, scholarship, education, and community engagement.

As part of an ongoing series, we’re spotlighting their accomplishments.

James Allen elected fellow of the Association for Computational Linguistics

James F. Allen, an internationally renowned AI researcher, has been named a fellow of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) for his “significant contributions to natural language dialogue research, planning and plan recognition.” ACL fellows are chosen for their “most extraordinary” contributions in scientific and technical excellence, service to the association and the community, and educational or outreach activities.

During a career that spanned 43 years, Allen, an emeritus professor in the Department of Computer Science, did groundbreaking research on collaborative agents that reason and plan while interacting through language.

His early work focused on the development of a plan-based theory of speech acts, which launched him to immediate prominence and still serves as one of the most influential computational models of dialogue behavior developed to date. Two of his landmark papers on the topic received more than 15,000 citations. More recently, while most of the natural language processing field moved to statistical learning methods as the paradigm for language processing, Allen believed that deep-language understanding can only currently be achieved by significant hand-engineering of semantically rich formalisms coupled with statistical preferences.

Allen joined the computer science department as its fifth faculty member in 1978, after earning a PhD from the University of Toronto. He served as department chair from 1987 to 1990 and was named the John H. Dessauer Professor of Computer Science in 1992. Beginning in 2002, he also served as a senior research scientist and an associate director of the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.

He authored Natural Language Understanding (Benjamin/Cummins 1987, with a second edition in 1995). Allen served as editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Computational Linguistics (now called Computational Linguistics) from 1983 to 1993; during his tenure as editor, the journal became the leading publication in the field. In 1984, Allen was one of the first recipients of the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation.

His other honors include receiving the University’s William H. Riker Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching (1997); being elected a charter fellow of the AAAI (1990), a fellow of the Cognitive Science Society (2019), and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (2020); and receiving the Herbert A. Simon Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cognitive Systems (2020).

Marvin Doyley smiles in his lab.

Marvin Doyley, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, of biomedical engineering, and of imaging sciences, was selected as a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Marvin Doyley named IEEE fellow

Marvin Doyley, who develops novel imaging techniques to detect and track diseases, has been selected as a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The institute is recognizing Doyley for his research involving ultrasound elastography, using inverse methods.

Fellows are nominated by peers and approved by the IEEE Board of Directors. Less than 0.1 percent of voting members are selected annually for outstanding qualifications and experience and important contributions to IEEE-designated fields.

Doyley, the Wilson Professor of Electronic Imaging and chair of electrical and computer engineering, joined the University in 2008 after serving as a research professor at Dartmouth College. His Parametric Imaging Research Laboratory uses various optical, magnetic resonance, and ultrasound imaging techniques to develop new ways to detect disease more quickly and determine how well patients are responding to therapy. Elastography (elasticity imaging) is a state-of-the-art method for diagnosing abnormalities in soft tissue.

He was previously inducted as a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2020). Doyley was also selected for the first cohort of the IAspire Leadership Academy, a program aimed at helping STEM faculty from underrepresented backgrounds ascend to leadership roles at colleges and universities. As department chair at Rochester, he secured NSF funding for an REU (research experience for undergraduates) program aimed at introducing imaging in medicine and biology for underrepresented minorities.

Golisano Children’s Hospital faculty selected for national health care equity program

Tina Sosa, Heather Wensley, and Jeffrey Yaeger of the Department of Pediatrics will participate in the year-long Disparities Leadership Program. Led by the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, it is the first program of its kind in the nation and is designed for leaders from hospitals, health insurance plans, and other health care organizations who are seeking to develop practical strategies to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care.

Diptych featuring the book cover art for "Everything I Don't Know: Selected Poems" and a portrait of Jennifer Grotz.

Jennifer Grotz’s PEN Award–winning cotranslation of Jerzy Ficowski’s Everything I Don’t Know: Selected Poems received an honorable mention from the Modern Language Association.

Jennifer Grotz’s cotranslation receives honorable mention from the Modern Language Association

In awarding its most recent Lois Roth Award, the Modern Language Association (MLA) gave an honorable mention to Jennifer Grotz, a professor of English, and Piotr Sommer, of Sulejówek, Poland, for their translation of Jerzy Ficowski’s Everything I Don’t Know: Selected Poems. The citation from the professional organization’s Committee on Honors and Awards highlights the cotranslators’ “excellent representation of the development of [Ficowski’s] poetic voice” over the course of nearly five decades. “This slim, impressive volume opens a window into the achievement of a poet who treated the traumas and joys of the twentieth century with disconcerting clarity,” the committee notes.

Published by World Poetry Books in 2021, Everything I Don’t Know won the PEN American Literary Award for Poetry in Translation. In addition to her work as a translator, Grotz is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Still Falling (slated for release in spring 2023 from Graywolf Press). Her poems have appeared in such publications as Best American Poetry, The New Yorker, The Nation, Poetry, New York Times Magazine, and The New York Review of Books.

Elaine Hill appointed fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research

Elaine Hill, an associate professor of public health sciences, of obstetrics and gynecology, and of economics, was recently selected as a faculty research fellow by the National Bureau of Economic Research for her work in health economics. Hill’s research focuses on the health consequences of shale gas development, the continuing health impact of racist housing policies, and how the economic, social, and health care disruptions caused by COVID-19 worsened the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Ehsan Hoque named Distinguished Member of the Association for Computing Machinery

Ehsan Hoque, who works in the intersection between artificial intelligence (AI) and human-centered computing (HCC), has been named a Distinguished Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for his outstanding contributions to computing. He is among 67 members of the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society who have been selected by their peers for work that has spurred innovation, enhanced computer science education, and moved the field forward.

Hoque, an associate professor of computer science and coleader of the Rochester Human-Computer Interaction (ROC HCI) Group, models and captures the dynamics of human behavior and their relationships using machine learning, computer vision, and network sciences. In collaboration with colleagues from the University’s Medical Center, his algorithmic intuitions improve the lives of disadvantaged, ill, disabled, and other individuals who struggle with socio-emotional communication, such as those with autism, severe anxiety, neurodegenerative disease, PTSD, aging, and terminal illness. Other applications of his work include using AI to help with public speaking, job interviews, music training, negotiations, collaborations, and credibility.

Hoque joined the University in 2013 after receiving his PhD in 2013 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His doctoral thesis—“Computers to Help with Conversations: Affective Framework to Enhance Human Nonverbal Skills”—was the first of its kind to demonstrate that it is possible for people to learn and improve their social skills by interacting with an automated system; the thesis was showcased at the MIT Museum as one of the most unconventional inventions at MIT.

His research has been supported with more than $20 million in grants from a wide variety of funders, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Army Research Lab, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Google, Microsoft, and the Moore Foundation. His work has resulted in more than 100 publications with eight best paper awards or nominations.

Hoque’s previous accolades include being named an Emerging Leaders in Health and Medicine by the National Academy of Medicine (2020), one of 10 Scientists to Watch by Science News (2017), an MIT Top 35 Innovators under 35 (2016). He past awards include an Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (ECASE-ARMY) (2019), an NSF CAREER Award (2018), and Google Faculty Research Awards (2014, 2016, 2020).

Ehsan Hoque poses on a stairwell against a wall that looks like a punchcard.

Computer scientist Ehsan Hoque has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to computing. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Jiebo Luo, Benjamin Miller named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors

Jiebo Luo, a leading expert in artificial intelligence, and Benjamin Miller, a pioneer in developing compact chips and biosensors for disease detection and personalized medicine, have been selected as fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). The academy is recognizing Luo, Miller, and the other inductees for “a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.”

Luo, the Albert Arendt Hopeman Professor of Engineering and a professor of computer science, joined the University in 2011 after working 15 years for Eastman Kodak Co., where he was a principal contributor to the Digital Radiography System and other Kodak products. At the University, his pursuit of new research frontiers in multimedia and computer vision research includes investigating computational inference of sentiment and emotion in images and multimedia and also bridging images and video with language. Luo’s more than 500 publications and five books, which have garnered more than 41,000 citations, also span natural language processing, machine learning, data mining, computational social science, and digital health.

Luo has been issued 95 US patents. Recent awards include election to Academia Europaea (2022). He is also a fellow of ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), AAAI (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence), IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), SPIE (the international society for optics and photonics), and IAPR (International Association of Pattern Recognition), and has received major technical achievement awards from ACM, IEEE, and Eastman Kodak.

Miller, the Dean’s Professor of Dermatology, joined the Rochester faculty in 1996. He also holds appointments in biomedical engineering, biochemistry and biophysics, optics, and materials science. His lab focuses on two fundamental research areas: the control of biomolecular interactions through the synthesis of new small-molecule probes, and the observation of biomolecular interactions through the development of novel optical sensing technologies. The applications include the production of compact, inexpensive biosensors that could replace current floor-standing clinical diagnostic systems with small, cell phone-sized devices.

Miller’s name appears on 30 issued US and international patents and 23 patents pending. They cover more than 20 novel detectors, biosensors, chips, and probe arrays. His previous honors include being named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2019) and a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2020), as well as receiving the Rochester Business Journal Health Care Achievement Award (2009) and the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (2001–2006).

Previous University of Rochester NAI fellows are Duncan Moore and David Williams (2021), Jannick Rolland (2020), Jim Zavislan (2018), Wayne Knox (2017), and Kevin Parker (2016).

Medical Center faculty receive National Academy of Medicine’s Healthy Longevity Catalyst Award

Corey Nichols-Hadeed, a psychiatry associate; Kimberley Van Orden, an associate professor of psychiatry; Malik Sams, an instructor of emergency medicine; and Kiah E. Nyame of the City of Rochester were recognized for their Intergenerational Mentoring to Promote Health Across the Lifespan project. The project will connect UR Medicine, local government, and the Rochester community to foster mentorships between older adults and younger mentees.

Anthony Pisani receives BMA Medical Book Award

Suicide Prevention: Stahl’s Handbooks, a publication coauthored by Anthony Pisani, an associate professor of psychiatry, was recognized by the British Medical Association (BMA) for outstanding contributions to medical literature. The book provides quick tips for suicide screening, risk assessment, interventions, and follow-up communication to mental health and primary care professionals to ensure comprehensive and patient-oriented care.

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