Here are some of the most interesting things I've done:

  • In 2018, we grew company to dozens of customers across 4 continents, 12 employees across 2 countries, and moved to US to continue growing the company from here.

  • In 2017, we took part in YCombinator, the world's most exclusive startup accelerator.

  • In 2016, we launched Thematic, a customer feedback analysis solution. We help companies understand free-text customer comments. Our customers include Sky TV, AMP Insurance, Fairfax Media and the Fortune 500 ManpowerGroup.

  • I used to run an on-demand consultancy in Natural Language Processing, helping companies with R&D projects.

  • I run STEAM ahead events to demonstrate interesting career options to young girls and their mothers.

  • Prior to that, I was Chief Research Officer at Pingar, leading their R&D team. Pingar specializes in automated metadata assignment and knowledge discovery.

  • During my PhD in keyword extraction from the Waikato University, I open-sourced Maui, a tool which automatically identifies the main topics in documents.

  • I interned at Google New York as part of their sentiment analysis team.

  • I also interned at Exorbyte, a fault-tolerant search company, and at the European Media Lab (now HITs), one of the top NLP research groups in Europe.

  • I collaborated with Cathy Legg on an interesting project involving merging common-sense knowledge encoded in the Cyc ontology with facts in Wikipedia.

  • I co-authored a survey Mining Meaning from Wikipedia, which describes how researchers around the world use Wikipedia to solve many tasks, from automatic question answering to building ontologies.

  • In 2008, I was one of the finalists for the Google Australia & NZ Anita Borg Scholarship, which rewards women with leadership skills in technology fields.

  • I used to peer-review academic articles for Information Systems, The Computer Journal and Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery and served on the program committee for several conferences (LREC, SYRCoDis, NZ CSRSC, ACL-IJCNLP Workshop "People Web's meets NLP")

  • I was the main organizer of the New Zealand Computer Science Research Student Conference (NZCSRSC) in 2007, which is now revived to take place yearly.

Personal info

I am a New Zealander and live most of the year in San Francisco with my husband and our two small children.

I grew up in a small town Kerch on the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine, now Russia. Some people think that Kerch might be a possible location of Atlantis (I doubt :-))

My name is Russian (Алена).

My hobbies include yoga, painting, hair dressing (certified) and traveling (I've lived in five countries and visited another dozen or so).

One unusual hobby is fire pois. There is a video of me swinging fire pois to Ian Witten's clarinet music.