Director of Applied Science
Ruhi Sarikaya joined Amazon Alexa team as the Director of Applied Science in September 2016. With his team that he has largely built from the ground up, he has been building core capabilities around ranking, relevance, natural language understanding, contextual understanding and personalization. Prior to that, he was a principal science manager and the founder of the language understanding and dialog systems group at Microsoft, Redmond, WA between 2011 and 2016. His group has built language understanding and dialog management capabilities of Cortana, Xbox One, Skype (Bots) and the underlying platform supporting both 1st and 3rd party. Before Microsoft, he was a research staff member and team lead in the Human Language Technologies Group at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY for ten years. Before IBM, he worked as a researcher at the Center for Spoken Language Research (CSLR) at the University of Colorado at Boulder for two years. He received his BS (1995) degree from Bilkent University, MS (1997) degree from Clemson University and Ph.D. (2001) degree from Duke University all in electrical and computer engineering. He has published over 100 technical papers in refereed journal and conference proceedings and, is inventor of over 70 issued/pending patents.