UTCS Colloquium/AI-Cindi Thompson/ PricewaterhouseCooper: "Comparing versions of electronic or paper-based documents with Magic Lens," TAY 3.128, Friday, November 6, 2009, 11:00 a.m.

Contact Name: 
Jenna Whitney
Nov 6, 2009 11:00am - 12:00pm

There is a sign-up schedule for this event at http://www.cs.ute


Type of Ta

lk: UTCS Colloquium/AI

Speaker/Affiliation: Cindi Thompson/ Pricewater


Date/Time: Friday, November 6, 2009/ 11:00 a.m.


ation: TAY 3.128

Host: Ray Mooney

Talk Title: "Comparing versions
of electronic or paper-based documents with Magic Lens"

Talk Abstract

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) professionals review, compare, and opine
on thousands of documents which originate in multiple file formats, with

many available only on paper. Magic Lens is a technology enabled document r

eview tool that automatically highlights differences in text when comparing
similar documents, reducing document review time by up to 80%. This uniqu

e application compares more than just Word documents; it also handles Adob

e PDF, scanned paper documents, and even compares documents of different

formats. PwC professionals use Magic Lens to compare and review revenue con

tracts, 10-Ks, invoices, financial agreements and other critical documen

ts with increased accuracy and efficiency.

I will discuss the novel an

d efficient algorithm for text comparison that we created for Magic Lens,

which is capable of finding matching text even when it moves to a different
location in a document. We also designed and implemented a novel document

comparison user interface. Magic Lens has been used by over 5000 PwC partne

rs and staff.

I will also provide a brief overview of other current &

past CAR projects.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers Center for Advanced Rese

arch (CAR) conducts PwC-sponsored research and development on business prob

lems that have no known solution in the marketplace. Since innovation often
results from combining widely-varied insights, an important part of CAR''

s strategy is to hire researchers with backgrounds in a variety of fields,
including computer science, mathematics, economics, statistics, mechan

ical engineering, and software development, and further cross pollinate t

heir knowledge with professionals and subject matter specialists from vario

us PwC lines of service. The diversity in this collaboration results in fre

sh perspectives on real business problems. Located in the heart of Silicon

Valley in PwC''s San Jose office, CAR began operation in 2003 under the le

adership of PricewaterhouseCoopers partner and technology entrepreneur, Sh

eldon Laube.

We are now accepting applications for spring and summer i

nternships, and Dr. Thompson will be available to meet with interested stu


Speaker Bio:
Dr. Thompson (Cindi) is a Senior Research Manage

r at PwC. She led the Magic Lens project for two and a half years and is no

w leading a new project investigating the impact of interruptions on produc

tivity and quality. Prior to leading Magic Lens, she contributed to the Co

nnection Machine project, an adaptive expertise locator system that, and

which was also deployed to the US Firm. Prior to joining PwC, Dr. Thompson
was an Assistant Professor in the School of Computing at the University of
Utah. Her research focused on the development and application of technique

s from machine learning to natural language understanding, scientific time
series, and recommendation systems. Cindi''s teaching included courses on
Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Discrete Mathematics. Her
publications include book chapters in Learning Language in Logic and artic

les for the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, and many conferen

ce paper publications.

Cindi also served as Consulting Researcher at S

tanford University''s Institute for the Study of Learning and Expertise, a

nd during the 2002-03 academic year served as Visiting Assistant Professor

in the Computer Science Department at Stanford. She was a Postdoctoral Rese

arch Fellow at Stanford University''s Center for the Study of Language and

Information. Her postdoctoral research subject was spoken dialogue systems

that change their interaction behavior based on past interactions with user


Cindi received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Computer Science from the Univ

ersity of Texas at Austin under Professor Ray Mooney, and her B.S. in Comp

uter Science from North Carolina State University.