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Dr. Wendy Lehnert received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1977 for her work on a computational model of human question answering. She subsequently joined the faculty at Yale where she held a joint appointment in Computer Science and Psychology. In 1982, Professor Lehnert left Yale to join the Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts where she specializes in natural language processing and cognitive models of human thought processes. She has published over 100 journal articles, conference papers and book chapters in these areas, including two books, The Process of Question Answering and Strategies for Natural Language Processing (with Martin Ringle).
During 1981-82 Professor Lehnert held the position of Vice President for Research at Cognitive Systems, Inc., where she designed commercial natural language processing systems and developed applications for the existing technology. In 1984 Professor Lehnert received the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation in recognition for her work in artificial intelligence, and in 1991 she was elected Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence. She has served on scientific advisory boards for the National Science Foundation, the National Library of Medicine, and has served as a member of the Information Science and Technology Committee for the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense. Professor Lehnert has been elected to the membership of the Board of Counselors for the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, as well as the Governing Board for the Cognitive Science Society, and she has also served as a senior editor for Cognitive Science. In 1993 Professor Lehnert was a Program Co-Chair (with Professor Richard Fikes of Stanford) for the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence.