The American National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announced the admission this month of 106 new members and 23 international (non-American) members, including Dr. Yoelle Maarek, who earned her doctorate from the Henry and Marilyn Taub Faculty of Computer Science at the Technion. She is now Vice President of Research at Alexa Shopping at Amazon.

Dr. Maarek is being recognized by the NAE for her “contributions to online information retrieval and data management, and leadership in applied industrial research.”

After completing her undergraduate studies in engineering from the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris, Dr. Maarek went on to earn her Ph.D. in computer science from the Technion in Israel. Since then, she has maintained strong connections with the Technion, and is currently a member of both the Technion Board of Governors and Technion management council.

At Amazon, Dr. Maarek leads teams across the U.S., U.K., and Israel in advancing voice search, question answering, and conversational artificial intelligence (AI). Her work is focused on the shopping domain, and she is investigating new research areas such as computational humor, which she sees as one of the hardest existing AI challenges. Dr. Maarek has regularly served as program committee (PC) chair and senior PC committee member at leading academic research conferences such as SIGIR, The Web Conference, and Web Search and Data Mining.

“I am honored and humbled to be recognized by the NAE and to join such a prestigious community,” said Dr. Maarek. “I look forward to collaborating with other engineers and scientists in order to continue doing what I’ve loved doing throughout my career – leveraging science and technology to facilitate the lives of people across the world and hopefully delight them.”

“The appointment of Dr. Maarek to the NAE shows important international recognition and an outstanding personal achievement,” said Technion President, Professor Uri Sivan. “As a member of the Technion management council and Board of Governors, she contributes a lot of time and energy to the Taub Faculty of Computer Science and to the Technion. She is an important ambassador in strengthening ties between academia and hi-tech industry in Israel and worldwide.

“As one of the leading Israeli women in the hi-tech world, Dr. Maarek encourages male and female students to commit themselves to study and to gain advanced degrees that will give them added value in the industry,” continued President Sivan. “She is an example and a source of inspiration to young female students who take an interest in science and technology, and with her words and deeds, she proves there is no ceiling they cannot break. We congratulate Dr. Maarek and are blessed by her accomplishments.”