Women in Search Panel

Led by Audrey Lorberfeld with panelists - Chen Karako, Jess Peck, Ellen Voorhees, Julie Tibshirani • Location: Theater 5 • Back to Haystack 2022

Women in tech are noticeably underrepresented, and women in the search space are even more rare. Join us for a multi-perspective panel discussion featuring women working in the Search field. We will talk about career development, breaking into the Search, gendered experiences in the workplace, and more! The goal of this panel is to empower women, encourage their allies, and show that Search is a welcoming field that needs diverse perspectives to thrive.

The panel will be led by:

Audrey Lorberfeld

Audrey Lorberfeld is a second-career Software Engineer and Data Scientist with a passion for information retrieval. She holds a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington where she focused on born-digital preservation and metadata management, as well as a Bachelor’s in Classics (classical languages) from Reed College. She attended Flatiron School’s Data Science bootcamp after being exposed to Data Science in graduate school and quickly became enamored with the field of computational search. She thrives on building communities and empowering under-represented groups in tech, and, of course, playing with her two rescue pups.


Chen Karako

Chen Karako is a Data Science Lead at Shopify, where she leads the Discovery Experience data team. The team focuses on improving product discovery for Shopify merchants and their buyers, by building search engines and product recommendations. Chen is passionate about leveraging data to build impactful products that solve real world problems. Chen is also interested in fairness in AI and has published research in this domain. Prior to joining Shopify, Chen obtained an M.Sc. in astrophysics from McGill, where she discovered 30 radio pulsars by developing signal processing algorithms for telescope data.

Jess Peck

Jess Peck thinks about humans making choices. She is currently the Data Scientist for Search Relevance at Zocdoc, where she primarily works on machine learning for patient search reranking. In her previous work as a health economist she researched health impacts of transit policy changes and lectured in microeconomics at Queens College. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Smith College and a PhD from the CUNY Graduate Center.

Ellen Voorhees

Ellen Voorhees is a Fellow at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) where for most her tenure she managed the Text REtrieval Conference (TREC) project, a project that develops the infrastructure required for large-scale evaluation of search engines. Voorhees received a B.Sc. in computer science from the Pennsylvania State University, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from Cornell University. Prior to joining NIST she was a Senior Member of Technical Staff at Siemens Corporate Research in Princeton, NJ where her work on intelligent agents applied to information access resulted in three patents. Voorhees is a fellow of the ACM and an inaugural member of ACM SIGIR’s Academy.

Julie Tibshirani

Julie Tibshirani is a Principal Software Engineer at Elastic focused on core search features in Elasticsearch, and is a Apache Lucene PMC member. Julie holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Stanford University, where she conducted research with the Natural Language Processing group. Julie loves building software (especially search engines) and is passionate about open source development

Watch the Video

Led by Audrey Lorberfeld with panelists - Chen Karako, Jess Peck, Ellen Voorhees, Julie Tibshirani