Mari Ostendorf joined the University of Washington Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in 1999. She is an Endowed Professor of System Design Methodologies, an adjunct professor in CSE and linguistics, as well as associate vice provost for research. She is a fellow of the IEEE, ISCA and ACL, a former Australian-American Fulbright Scholar, a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences, a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Ostendorf has published more than 290 papers on a variety of topics in speech and language processing. For her contributions in this area, she was awarded the 2018 IEEE James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award. In 2017, she served as a faculty advisor for the student team winning the inaugural Alexa Prize competition to build a socialbot, and conversational AI is a focus of her current work. Her research explores dynamic models for understanding and generating speech and text, particularly in multi-party contexts, which contributes to a variety of applications, from education to clinical and scientific information extraction.