Stanford computer scientist Christopher Ré wins MacArthur ‘genius grant’

Christopher Re

Christopher Re at the Gates Computer Science building on the Stanford University campus this month.

(Don Feria / John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

The MacArthur Foundation awarded 24 "genius grants” to leaders in a slew of fields Tuesday, including Stanford University computer scientist Christopher Re.

Re, 36, specializes in big data analytics and created an inference engine, DeepDive, which can analyze data of a kind and at a scale that is beyond the capabilities of traditional databases.  

“DeepDive analyzes ‘dark data' -- or the mass of unprocessable data buried in texts, illustrations, images, etc.,” the foundation said. “DeepDive has proved to be more accurate than human annotation, and it can be ‘trained,’ even by users without computer science expertise, to improve the quality of results.”

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DeepDive is now being used “in a wide range of settings, from scientific laboratories to law enforcement." 

Ré received his bachelor of science degree from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington at Seattle. He is an assistant professor in the department of computer science at Stanford.

This year’s genius grant recipients include scientists, scholars or leaders in history, economics, science, sociology, arts and culture and other fields.

Officially known as MacArthur Fellows, the recipients each get $625,000 from the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, paid over five years.


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