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Research Interests

Professor Koehn’s work is focused statistical machine translation. More broadly defined, he is interested in utilising the vast information available in digital form.
Professor Koehn is one of the inventors of a method called phrase based machine translation which is a sub-field of statistical translation methods that employs sequences of words (or so-called "phrases") as the basis of translation, expanding the previous word based approaches. A 2003 paper “Statistical phrase-based translation” co-authored with Franz Josef Och and Daniel Marcu attracted wide attention in the machine translation community and cited over a thousand times. Phrase based methods are widely used in machine translation applications in industry, e.g. Google Translate and Asia Online. His book on statistical machine translation is available from amazon.com.


Professor Koehn received his PhD in Computer Science (2003) from the University of Southern California, where he worked at the Information Sciences Institute supervised by Kevin Knight. He became a postdoctoral fellow under Michael Collins at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2005, he gained lectureship at the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh. He was appointed reader in 2010, then Chair of Machine Translation in 2012. He still contributes to the Statistical Machine Translation Group which organizes workshops, seminars and project related to the subject. In 2014, he was appointed professor at the Department of Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University, where he is affiliated with the Center for Language and Speech Processing.
In non-academic areas, Professor Koehn was a consultant for SYSTRAN between 2006 and 2011. He is currently acting Chief Scientist for Ominicien Technologies, a private company developing and commercializing machine translation technologies.


2003 PhD, Computer Science, University of Southern California.

1996 Diploma, Computer Science, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.

1994 MSc, Computer Science, University of Tennessee.


2015 Awards of Honor, International Association for Machine Translation

2013 Finalist (among 3): Europeah INventor of the Year, Research, European Patent Office


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