Created software that caught the eye of the New York Times
Katerina Iliakopoulou is a software engineer at the New York Times. She owes her current job there to the hard work she did during her dual master degree in Journalism and Computer Science at Columbia University in the city of New York. In order to complete her master she did her thesis thinking on how computer science could help contemporary journalism. Having this thought in mind, she developed a software that focuses on the research and development of an automatic Tagger system for news outlets to help index stories efficiently and increase traffic for their website.
“The emerging force of digital journalism has inspired me to work in technologies, such as information retrieval and data analysis with a view to provide the world with trustworthy rich news coverage on a global scale. My interests lean mostly towards machine learning algorithms used for viral content prediction or understanding readers’ behavior and habits when browsing an online news source” says Katerina.
Katerina comes from the city of Alexandroupoli, in northern Greece. She got her Engineer’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki from 2006 to 2012. In fact, her Master’s thesis was “Robot exploration and full coverage of an unknown space with application to victim detection and identification.” (Received Grade: 10 out of 10).
After her graduation she worked in the Centre for Research and Technology-Hellas (CERTH) on the project “SocialSensor”. It was an international project, which aimed at building an application that discovers trends, events, and interesting media content in social media. She there collaborated with computer scientists and journalists from BBC, Yahoo Labs, IBM, and Deutsche Welle. This project triggered her interest in journalism and decided to pursue a master degree. She got accepted in many famous universities (Oxford, Imperial College, NYU) but she finally chose Columbia University, because she had the chance to combine Computer Science and Journalism in a dual master. And that is what she did from 2014 to 2016. She had a chance to become better in computer graphics or analysis of algorithms on the one hand, and on the other hand to learn a lot about investigative reporting and data journalism.
Completing her internship at the New York Times as Technology intern, gave her the opportunity to
improve her platform, through thousands (about 15.000) of articles of the New York Times.
She worked in the Data Universe (DU) team, where she built internal tools for the newsroom as well as for teams in the technology department. Those tools were essentially web-based platforms that allowed browsing streams of data or visualising data to increase awareness in the newsroom regarding an article’s traffic. As a result, Katerina is now working as a Software Engineer for the New York Times.