26 September 2014

Google director is the new Honorary Alumna at University of Copenhagen

Data Research

The top researcher Corinna Cortes, born in Denmark, spends most of her days on Google's floor of executive suites in New York City. At Google she is responsible for Google Research. But on 27 September she will return to the Danish capital to be appointed as an Honorary Alumna at University of Copenhagen.

Corinna Cortes spends most of her time in New York as head of Google Research.  Now she - as a former student at the University of Copenhagen - is appointed as an Honorary Alumna. Click on the image to download it in high resolution. Photo: Mikal Schlosser.

This will happen on the Alumni Day 2014 where Corinna Cortes will talk about Big Data for the Society. Big Data is considered the golden egg of the digital age and Cortes’ position at Google Research makes her extremely qualified to talk about the development in that area.

Corinna Cortes has a Master of Science in mathematics and physics from The University of Copenhagen. She also has a Ph.d in computer science from The University of Rochester. Through her work with engineering she has created a career of global format. Because of this she is now appointed as a new member of InnovationsFonden (the national innovation foundation).

Research improves the internet

The Institute of Computer Science at The Faculty of Science has nominated Corinna Cortes as Honorary Alumna and head of department and professor Martin Zachariasen is pleased with the decision. He recommended Corinna Cortes with this explanatory statement:

"As a primary figure at Google’s research division Corinna Cortes is changing the way we use search engines on a daily basis all over the world. Her research has changed the internet – and will continue doing so."

Thomas Bjørnholm, head of UCPH Alumni and prorector of Research and Innovation adds:

"Corinna Cortes is as Head of Google Research in New York an example of how well alumni of University of Copenhagen fare on the global job market. With the appointing of Corinna Cortes The University gets an Honorary Alumna who has been able to place herself at the front of the internet. She has already had an impact on the development of the internet and will have an even greater impact in the future."

Engineering and algorithms

Corinna Cortes has worked with the algorithms of the internet for many years. In 1989 she was employed at AT & T Bell Labs where she started working with the development of algorithms in engineering. In 2003 this led to the position as Head of Google Research where her research was applauded after she developed the highly effective algorithm "Support Vector Machines" (SVMs).

In 2008 she received The Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award for her contribution to the project that today has become one the most used algorithms in engineering. Corinna Cortes has kept her connection to The University of Copenhagen and in 2011 she became an associate professor at The Institute of Computer Science.

Corinna Cortes (b. 1961)


1989: Researcher at AT&T Bell Labs
2003: Head of Research, Google Research, New York


1989: Masters of Science in mathematics and physics
1993: Ph.d in Computer Science at The University of Rochester

Honorary positions

2011: Adjunct Professor at The Institute of Computer Science at The University of Copenhagen
2014: Member of InnovationsFonden (the national innovation foundation)

Official honor distinctions

2000: Recipient of the AT&T Technology Medal
2008: Recipient of the Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award

In addition

Corinna Cortes is a very competent marathon runner.


Ida Blinkenberg Lidell
Communications Officer
The University of Copenhagen
University Education Services, UCPH Alumni
Phone: +45 35 32 46 32
Mobile: +45 23 81 13 27