Karthik Dinakar

Karthik Dinakar is a PhD candidate and Reid Hoffman Fellow at MIT. He is a computer scientist in the fields of machine learning, natural language processing and human-computer interaction to compute for empathy. His graduate work involves applying probabilistic graphical models and to model, understand and predict adolescent distress, crisis counseling, self-harm and heart disease. He is interested in causal inference, large-scale single-subject experiment designs, bayesian graph theoretic machine learning for embedding clinical science in the naturalistic settings that people live in everyday. A recipient of the 2015 Dewey Winburne Award, Karthik was twice invited by the White House to present his research on the computational detection of cyberbullying and on using probabilistic graphical models to scale crisis counseling in the United States.

John Frank


John is an entrepreneur and theoretical physicist with a long-standing interest in improving how people digest complex information. In 1999, John founded MetaCarta, which pioneered map-based search with statistical natural language processing that helps people find everything written about any place. Nokia acquired MetaCarta in 2010.  John served as Chief Architect for Search at Nokia until 2012 when he founded Diffeo with two other Hertz Fellows from MIT. Diffeo’s machine-assisted research tools accelerate discovery in Web search and Cyber Security. John is ABD at MIT in soft condensed matter physics where his research has focused on understanding how curvature influences chemical reactions and patterns on membranes. John holds a B.S. in physics with distinction from Yale University where he led Yale’s first solar car team to the top rookie seat of Sunyrace 97.


Dr. Catherine Havasi

Dr. Catherine Havasi is co-founder and CEO of artificial intelligence (AI) text analytics company Luminoso. Dr. Havasi is a research scientist in artificial intelligence and computational linguistics at the MIT Media Lab. She co-founded the Open Mind Common Sense project, which created natural language AI program, ConceptNet. Fast Company included her in its “100 Most Creative People in Business 2015” ranking.

Chris Biow

Chris leads the U.S. Public Sector team at Basis Technology, working with government customers to meet their text analytics and digital forensics mission needs using Basis software and services. He holds a BS in Mathematics from the US Naval Academy and an MS in Computer Science from the University of Maryland. After flying with the US Navy as an F-14 Tomcat RIO (Radar Intercept Officer), Chris founded a sales-enablement software company and then worked delivering Public Sector solutions with search and database software at Verity, Autonomy, MarkLogic, and MongoDB.