Bonnie Dorr, Ph.D., joined the faculty as a professor at the Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) in Spring 2022. Her research and project management experience includes deep-language understanding and semantics, large-scale multilingual processing, and summarization. She has carried out seminal work in cross-language divergence detection, machine translation, paraphrasing and automatic evaluation metrics.
“My research aims to build machines that adapt to humans, rather than forcing humans to adapt to machines. Our time studying intelligent agents has focused on learning user preferences and helping users to understand languages and cultures,” Dr. Dorr said. “When we can intelligently and meaningfully integrate various disciplines such as computer science, computer engineering, linguistics, and social science, we are better able to tackle difficult problems within society.”
Dr. Dorr wants her research at UF to lay a solid foundation for students, broadening how they solve some of the world’s most difficult problems and making them more invaluable for industry, academia and government positions. She came to CISE because of the access to a range of different disciplines and mentoring opportunities to support the types of cross-cutting research and teaching.
“UF is a large campus, with excellent resources and opportunities for research, teaching, mentoring, and funding, and is well-positioned for the interdisciplinary study of important problems,” she said. “The opportunities for continuous updates to teaching methodologies are appealing to me, including virtual environments and flipped classrooms, with lectures in the form of ‘video snippets’ and entire class periods dedicated to problem-solving, questions and topical discussions.”
Prior to coming to UF, Dr. Dorr was associate director and senior research scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, where she continues to hold an affiliate senior research scientist position. She was also a faculty member at the University of Maryland, where she is professor emerita in the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies and the Department of Computer Science.
She was an associate dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, and co-founded the Computational Linguistics and Information Processing Laboratory. She was also a principal scientist for two years at the Johns Hopkins University Human Language Technology Center of Excellence. In 2011, she became a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), overseeing research in human language technology.
“During my eight years in Florida, I have watched the growing talent and strength of the faculty and research programs in CISE, the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, and UF as a whole,” she said. “The level of excellence is palpable and continues to grow steadily, accelerating especially in recent years.”
Dr. Dorr is a Sloan Fellow, an NSF Presidential Faculty (PECASE) Fellow, and a former president of the Association for Computational Linguistics. She has served on the Executive Council of the Association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and on the Executive Board of the Association for Computational Linguistics. She was elected AAAI Fellow in 2013, ACL Fellow in 2016, and ACM Fellow in 2020.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Boston University, and an S.M. and Ph.D. in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering