Kathleen McKeown



Tel(212) 853-8469

Kathleen R. McKeown’s interest lie in the areas of natural language process, summarization, natural language generation, and social media. Her research interests include text summarization, natural language generation, multi-media explanation, question-answering, and multi-lingual applications. Currently, her group is working in three main areas: text summarization of disaster updates, personalized messaging to help reduce energy use, and identifying sentiment in social media posts.

Research Interests

natural language process, summarization, natural language generation, and social media

McKeown’s work on disaster updates makes use of live, streaming information over each hour in the course of a disaster. This project incorporates personal experiences of those who have lived through a disaster, thus providing both an objective and personal point of view.

In the realm of social media, she has previously developed systems to identify influence in social media and to identify an author's personal traits. She is now working on identifying sentiment in social media posts made in low resource languages (e.g., Uyghur) and on identifying aggression and loss in posts from gang-involved youths from Chicago.

McKeown is the Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University and is also the Founding Director of the Data Science Institute at Columbia. She served as the Director from July 2012 – June 2017. She served as Department Chair from 1998 – 2003 and as Vice Dean for Research for the School of Engineering and Applied Science for two years. McKeown received a PhD in Computer Science and Information Science in 1982 and an MS, also in Computer and Information Science, in 1979, both from the University of Pennsylvania.  She earned an AB in Comparative Literature from Brown University in 1976.   


Professional Experience

  • Founding Director, Data Science Institute, Columbia University, 2012–2017
  • Department Chair, Computer Science, 1998-2003
  • Vice Dean for Research, dates?
  • Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor of Computer Science, date?

Professional Affiliations

  • Association of Computational Linguistics, served as President, Vice President, and Secretary-Treasurer
  • Computing Research Association, served as board member and secretary of the board

Honors & Awards

  • Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2019
  • Selected as one of the Founding Fellows of the Association for Computational Linguistics, 2012
  • Anita Borg Women of Vision Award in Innovation for work on text summarization, 2010
  • Columbia Great Teacher Award, 2010
  • Elected as an ACM Fellow, 2003
  • Selected as AAAI Fellow, 1994
  • National Science Foundation Faculty Award for Women, 1991
  • National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, 1985