Rick Lawrence leads the Machine Learning & Decision Analytics department within the Cognitive Computing organization at IBM Research at Yorktown Heights NY. He led the IBM sales productivity project selected as a Finalist in 2009 for the prestigious INFORMS Franz Edelman competition that recognizes the application of advanced analytics to solve challenging business problems. He currently leads several research projects involving the development and application of machine learning methods to extract insight from news feeds, social media and other sources of unstructured content. One current project, with UNICEF in Uganda, received the 2014 INFORMS Innovative Applications in Analytics Award as well at the Best Paper Award in the Industry & Government Track at the 2013 ACM KDD Conference. Rick received his undergraduate degree at Stanford and his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Illinois.