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In a pioneer's footsteps - EurekAlert

Last updated Tuesday, January 24, 2023 01:05 ET , Source: NewsService

Computer scientist William Wang receives Karen Spärck Jones Award

Grant and Award Announcement

University of California - Santa Barbara

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) — When UC Santa Barbara computer science professor William Wang received a call from an unfamiliar number at 7 a.m. on a Monday, he did what most people trying to avoid a robocall would do: He ignored it.

The caller was persistent though, and eventually Wang got curious and figured out where the mysterious number was coming from: the British Computer Society (BCS). The next time they called, he picked up — only to receive a robust congratulations for being chosen as the recipient of the BCS’s Karen Spärck Jones Award.

“It was actually the chair of the award committee,” Wang recalled, noting the BCS awards panel informs prize recipients by phone à la the Nobel.

“We take great pleasure in sending our warmest congratulations to William Wang upon receiving the Karen Spärck Jones Award,” said Tresa Pollock, interim dean of the UCSB College of Engineering. “We at UCSB are well aware of Professor Wang’s innovative research in the field of natural language processing, and this well-deserved award will extend his recognition further. This is wonderful news.”

“I’m humbled and honored to receive this prestigious award,” Wang said, “because I first learned about Karen Spärck Jones’s algorithms when I was a student, and she’s truly an inspiring pioneer in information retrieval and natural language processing.”

An eminent honor...

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