IST professor named IEEE Pioneer in neural networks

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Lee Giles, the David Reese Professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) at Penn State, has been awarded the 2018 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computational Intelligence Society (CIS) Neural Networks Pioneer Award.

A testament to his trailblazing work, Giles received the honor in recognition of his early work in neural networks with the creation of CiteSeerX, an academic search engine focused primarily on literature in computer and information science. He will accept the award at the 2018 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In addition to his role in IST, Giles is a professor of computer science and engineering, courtesy professor of supply chain and information systems, and director of the Intelligent Systems Research Laboratory.

Giles received the IEEE Fellow award in 1997 for contributions to theory and practice of neural networks and the ACM Fellow award in 2006 for contributions to information processing and web analysis. He is a Fellow of the International Neural Network Society and a recipient in 2014 of their Gabor Award for outstanding achievements in neural engineering. He has twice received the IBM Distinguished Faculty award.

He has more than 500 publications and 30,000 citations with papers in the fields of artificial intelligence, neural networks, machine learning, information retrieval and extraction, data mining, digital libraries, and web search. He also has written more than 100 papers on neural networks and deep learning.

Citeseer, launched in 1997 and updated in 2008 as CiteSeerX, is considered to be one of the first automated citation indexing systems and a predecessor to web-based academic search tools such as Google Scholar. The platform allows users to search published scientific and academic papers for key terms and was one of the first to incorporate a ranking system. It created a way to find the most relevant content for a search, not just the most closely matching terms.

“Automatically, we were able to bring up how many citations a paper had gotten,” Giles explained. “Indexing based on importance was revolutionary at the time.”

It was also regarded as groundbreaking for being one of the first successful applications of neural networks, a computer system patterned after the human brain that teaches machines how to complete tasks.

“It’s a subfield of artificial intelligence — the thinking being we use artificial models of what [a human brain’s] neurons might be doing,” explained Giles.

More recently, the concept is being more readily adopted by the technology field, especially in programming developed for autonomous vehicles and language translations.

“Going forward, I see this continuing to produce automated processes that will help humans do things better and quicker,” Giles said.

Reflecting on his creation, Giles said he was proud that, “[CiteSeerX] is still up and running. Next year, it will be our 20th anniversary! There’s not many search engines that are still around from then.”

Last Updated January 08, 2018