Daphne Koller

Professor Koller has recommended books in the following areas:

Daphne Koller was a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University and a MacArthur Fellowship recipient. She is one of the founders of Coursera, an online education platform, and is founder and CEO of Insitro, a drug discovery startup. Her current interests are in machine learning and its applications to biology and human health. Koller was featured in a 2004 article by MIT Technology Review titled “10 Emerging Technologies That Will Change Your World” concerning the topic of Bayesian machine learning.

Koller received a bachelor’s degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1985, at the age of 17, and a master’s degree from the same institution in 1986, at the age of 18. She completed her PhD at Stanford in 1993 under the supervision of Joseph Halpern. After her PhD, Koller did postdoctoral research at University of California, Berkeley from 1993 to 1995, and joined the faculty of the Stanford University Computer Science Department in 1995. She was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2004, was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2011 and was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014.

In April 2008, Koller was awarded the first ever $150,000 ACM Prize in Computing.

She and Andrew Ng, a fellow Stanford computer science professor in the AI lab, launched Coursera in 2012. She served as the co-CEO with Ng, and then as President of Coursera. She was recognized for her contributions to online education by being named one of Newsweek’s 10 Most Important People in 2010, Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2012, and Fast Company’s Most Creative People in 2014.

She left Coursera in 2016 to become chief computing officer at Calico. In 2018, she left Calico to found Insitro, a drug discovery startup, where she is its CEO.

Koller is primarily interested in representation, inference, learning, and decision making, with a focus on applications to computer vision and computational biology. Along with Suchi Saria and Anna Penn of Stanford University, Koller developed PhysiScore, which uses various data elements to predict whether premature babies are likely to have health issues.

In 2009, she published a textbook on probabilistic graphical models together with Nir Friedman. She offered a free online course on the subject starting in February 2012.

Here are some of her major honors and awards:

  • 2017: Elected ISCB Fellow by the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB)

  • 2014: Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business

  • 2014: Elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

  • 2013: Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People

  • 2011: Elected to National Academy of Engineering

  • 2010: Huffington Post 100 Game Changers

  • 2010: Newsweek’s 10 Most Important People

  • 2008: ACM Prize in Computing

  • 2004: Oswald G. Villard Fellow for Undergraduate Teaching at Stanford University

  • 2004: MacArthur Fellow

  • 2003: Cox Medal at Stanford

  • 2001: IJCAI Computers and Thought Award

  • 1999: Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)

  • 1998: Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award

  • 1996: Sloan Foundation Faculty Fellowship

  • 1994: Arthur Samuel Thesis Award