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March 13, 2012

Lisa-Joy Zgorski and student Helen Hastings interview "Watson" creator David Ferrucci.

Lisa-Joy Zgorski of NSF and Helen Hastings, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va., interviewed David Ferrucci, an IBM Fellow and the principal investigator for Watson/Jeopardy! during his March 8, 2012, visit to NSF. Hastings, who sits on "TJ" student government, and is sometimes the only female in her advanced computation courses despite being part of a student body that has achieved near gender parity, took the lead and asked Ferrucci some questions of her own. She asked how his team devised a computer to become a Jeopardy! champion and moreover, how the underlying technology of language processing has broader implications for advancing computer science research with useful applications in the not-so-distant future. What is the cause for a standing-room-only gathering of NSF employees? The talk Ferrucci gave that afternoon, all about the research!

Credit: National Science Foundation

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