2013 Distinguished Academic Achievement Alumni Award
Diane J. Cook received her master’s and PhD in computer science from the University of Illinois in 1987 and 1990, respectively. While working on her PhD, she served as a consultant for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, where she was also an assistant for designing and teaching a course titled “Scientific Visualization.”
Cook began her professional career as an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of South Florida, Tampa. During the summer months of her time at USF, she was a research faculty fellow at the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. In 1992, she took a position as assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. She remained at Texas until 2006, eventually moving up to the position of University Distinguished Scholar Professor.
In 2006, Cook was named the Huie-Rogers Chair Professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University, Pullman. In addition to this position, She serves as a data mining consultant for organizations such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, C. Grant and Company, and Bosch.
Cook’s current research applies machine learning and pervasive computing research to the design of smart environments. By collecting data from sensor-filled homes and other environments, machine learning techniques can be used to discover and recognize patterns of human behavior. Strategies can then be learned to assess the well-being of the residents, to extend functional independence for older adults and those with disabilities, and to promote healthy, sustainable behaviors.
Her work is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the United States Air Force, and the Naval Research Laboratories. Cook is a Fellow of IEEE and the Future Technology Research Association, and she is a recipient of both an NSF Research Initiation Award and an NSF CAREER Award.