OAA 2017 AWARD RECIPIENT BIOGRAPHIES

Shashi Buluswar - Outstanding Contributions to Society

Shashi Buluswar is the CEO of the Institute for Transformative Technologies (ITT). Launched in 2014, ITT brings to life breakthrough technological solutions for addressing global poverty and related social ills.

Prior to joining ITT, Buluswar was a partner at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, where he served as a strategic advisor to a range of international development institutions such as NGOs, corporations, foundations, governments, social entrepreneurs, the UN, and the World Bank.  His work focused on how to apply technology to address such globally critical problems as healthcare, agriculture improvement, economic development, human rights, and climate change. Before working at Dalberg, he was an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company. 

He is the lead author of a groundbreaking study to identify the "50 most critical scientific and technological breakthroughs required for sustainable global development." He also teaches international development at the University of California, Berkeley.

Buluswar received a B.A. from Goshen College in 1991. He received an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1995 and 2002, respectively, and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management in 1999.

 

Jamie Callan - Outstanding Achievement in Research

Jamie Callan is a professor at the Language Technologies Institute within Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science. He also has a joint appointment in the School of Information Systems and Management within CMU's Heinz College. His research and teaching focus on text-based information retrieval and analysis.

Callan's recent work develops advanced search engine architectures, architectures for large-scale distributed search, federated search of vertical search engines, expert finding in social media, and a variety of text analysis/mining/analytics methods. He has published more than 185 research papers on these and related subjects.

He is a past treasurer and chair of ACM SIGIR, the international professional society for Information Retrieval research, a co-founding editor-in-chief of Foundations and Trends in Information Retrieval, and a past editor-in-chief of ACM's Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS). Prior to his position at CMU, Dr. Callan was a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at UMass Amherst and an Assistant Director of the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval.

For more than a decade, Callan has been co-PI of the Lemur Project, which creates and distributes open-source search engine software, search tools, and datasets that are downloaded roughly 1,000 times per month (over 82,000 times overall) and used by a broad international research community. Dr. Callan also created and distributes the 1.73 billion-page ClueWeb09 and ClueWeb12 web datasets used by researchers worldwide.

Callan received a B.A. in Applications of Computer Science from the University of Connecticut in 1984, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1987 and 1993, respectively.

 

Rajesh Jha - Outstanding Achievement in Management

Rajesh Jha is the executive vice president of Microsoft's Office Group, leading the development and service engineering teams for Microsoft Office - including Office 365, Office applications, SharePoint, Exchange, Skype, Project and OneNote. By pioneering new online services, Jha and his team are at the forefront of making Microsoft Corporation's transformation to a mobile-first, cloud-first world a reality.

Most recently he was corporate vice president, leading teams that helped reinvent productivity and collaboration including delivering Office 365 cross platform and through the cloud. Office 365 is one of the fastest-growing commercial services in the industry and is used by businesses, governments, and educational institutions worldwide, providing powerful security controls, advanced analytics, and voice communication. Office 365 provides industry leading productivity, communication, and collaboration services that is used by hundreds of millions of users on their PCs or mobile devices - secure, trusted, and powered by intelligence to allow users to achieve more.

Jha joined Microsoft in 1990 as a software engineer, developing multiple product releases with the Microsoft Works team.He moved on to create multimedia technologies in the Consumer Division and, as a director of development, worked for several years developing early versions of cloud-delivered services. Continuing his path of success in the company, Jha then became the Corporate Vice President for Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Project, and Microsoft Outlook. He oversaw the early planning, subsequent execution, and scale out of the cloud-based commercial services that grew into Microsoft Office 365.

Jha is holder of multiple patents from his early days as a software engineer. He serves on the advisory board for the College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Jagran Foundation in Bellevue, Washington.

He received a B.S. in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 1988 and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1990.

 

Tareef Kawaf - Outstanding Achievement in Entrepreneurship

Tareef Kawaf is a software startup executive and current president of RStudio, Inc., a Massachusetts-based company that develops both open-source and commercial software for the R statistical programming language.  R is used extensively for research, teaching statistical analysis in universities, and by professional data scientists. RStudio's products for R are used by millions of people around the world every day, in emerging to developed economies, to participate in an increasingly data-driven global economy.

Prior to joining RStudio, Kawaf served as senior vice president of engineering and operations at Brightcove, Inc. Over 8 years he helped Brightcove build and operate the second largest online video platform, helping it grow from $0 to $92M in revenue, and complete its initial public offering (IPO).

Before Brightcove, he served as director for commerce development at ATG for seven years.  ATG's E-commerce suite powered websites such as J.Crew, BMG Music Service, and Best Buy, helping ATG grow from an early stage startup to a publicly traded company.

Kawaf jointly holds a patent for the "Method and System for Dynamic Pricing," issued in 2001 which is a core component of Oracle's ATG Commerce solutions and helps retailers define sophisticated rules for couponing, discounting, and personalized commerce.

He received his B.S. degree in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1994. He and his family currently reside outside of Boston, MA.

 

Brian Kettler - Outstanding Achievement in Technology Development  

Brian Kettler is chief scientist and Lockheed Martin Fellow in the Informatics Lab at Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories (ATL), the corporation's advanced-computing, applied research and development facility.

Kettler has been the principal investigator on a number of advanced technology R&D projects for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), and the Intelligence Community. He has spent the last few years developing the Worldwide Integrated Crisis Early Warning System (W-ICEWS). Initially a DARPA-sponsored research program, W-ICEWS has subsequently been deployed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) where it is used to analyze public data to predict potential nation-state unrest. Using open news feeds and other sources, W-ICEWS monitors key events and trends around the world. W-ICEWS has also transitioned into operational use by the Department of Defense, Intelligence Community, and other agencies.

Prior to Lockheed Martin, Kettler was a corporate scientist at ISX Corporation before it was acquired by LM in 2006. Earlier, he worked as a knowledge engineer at Brightware, developing customer AI applications for diagnosis, and was a senior associate programmer at IBM where he supported performance test development, execution, and automation for the VM operating system group in Kingston, NY.

He received a B.S. in Computer Science with a Minor in Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1987 and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland College Park in 1995.

 

Sarah Osentoski - Outstanding Achievement as a Young Alum

Sarah Osentoski is a co-founder and the chief operating officer at Mayfield Robotics, a start-up currently developing the personal home robot, Kuri. Introduced at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Kuri has been featured in numerous publications including Wired, PC Magazine, and Mashable. According to Quartz, "The Roomba might have been the first robot to prove its use in the home, but Kuri is the first you might actually want to spend time with."

As COO at Mayfield, Osentoski has assembled Mayfield's leadership team, staffed the corporate ranks with talented engineers and UI/product people, and created a team culture that is fun, engaging, and productive.

Prior to her work at Mayfield, Osentoski was the manager of the Personal Robotics Group at the Bosch Research and Technology Center. There, she coordinated teams across geographies and universities to work on projects that included shared autonomy, mobile manipulation/navigation/perception, and semantic analysis of 3D data.

Her additional accomplishments include leading the Robot Web Tools effort, making advancements in shared autonomy, and researching large-scale learning from demonstration and representation discovery. She was a postdoctoral research associate at Brown University working with Chad Jenkins in the Brown Robotics Laboratory.

She received her B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2001 and her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2009.