Yahoo Executive Wins Innovation Award

    August 10, 2007

Yahoo’s got some pretty bright people in its employ, and one of them – Dr. Usama Fayyad – has just been awarded the 2007 Innovation Award by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM).  And yes, that’s the same ACM that gives the Turing Award.

Yahoo seems quite proud of Dr. Fayyad, who serves as its chief data officer and executive vice president of research and strategic data solutions.  In fact, Yahoo put out a press release to mark the occasion, and it’s not every day that a major corporation honors a single employee with one of those.

The releases notes that the “Innovation Award is the highest technical award in the fields of data mining and knowledge discovery,” and that the Award “recognizes individuals who have either driven significant innovations that have transferred to industry practice in impactful ways or who have significantly influenced the direction of research and development in these areas.”

Well said.  The description of Dr. Fayyad’s accomplishments is, to be honest, also best left to someone other than me – I’m a writer, not a “data mining and knowledge discovery” expert – and the ACM site contains an extensive professional biography.  To quote just one impressive sentence from it: “[Fayyad] is a prolific inventor with over 30 patents issued and over 50 filed patents in the areas of data mining, on-line marketing and the Internet.”

For his trouble, Dr. Fayyad will soon receive $2,500, in addition to what I imagine will be quite a lot of applause.