Ari Kobren

I'm a Ph.D. student at UMass Amherst working in the Information Extraction and Synthesis Laboratory with Professor Andrew McCallum. Previously, I received a B.S. in Computer Science from Tufts University and worked as a researcher at MIT Lincoln Laboratory building intelligent decision support systems for US intelligence analysts. I spent the summer of 2014 at Google training models of worker-task interaction that I used to optimize a new crowdsourcing platform.

Research Interests

I'm primarily interested in algorithms for data integration--or combining multiple, heterogeneous sources of data into a single, consistent knowledge base. My work draws on and develops methods for information extraction, entity resolution and other forms of scalable statistical inference. I'm also broadly interested in interactive machine learning, (integer) linear programming and crowdsourcing as a tool for targeted data acquisition.

I am also the chief designer and maintainer of, a database of scientific affiliations and collaborations. Our backend integration engine dynamically (on page-load) produces ReSearcher's content by synthesizing multiple sources of data including edits from logged in users. So far, ReSearcher has been used by ICCV and CVPR to help identify conflicts of interest in peer review. (If you're interested in using ReSearcher to support your conference, contact me!)



Other Fun Stuff

In my spare time, I enjoy cooking (especially ethnic foods that involve uncommon spices), learning for free, climbing, playing soccer and other sports, composing/playing music, snowboarding, playing German-style board games, traveling the world, listening to NPR (e.g. The Moth Radio Hour and wNYC's RadioLab), eating gummy candy, and learning about philosophy, religion, and nutrition.

In a previous life, I co-found a start-up and was a junior olympic Tae Kwon Do champ.

My favorite book is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Amherst, Massachusetts, USA

akobren (at) cs (dot) umass (dot) edu

resume (PDF)