Luis von Ahn

Luis von Ahn is an Assistant Professor in the School of Computer Science. His research interests include novel techniques for utilizing the computational abilities of humans, such as games in which people collectively solve large-scale problems that computers cannot yet solve (e.g.,,; human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, and the difference in computational abilities between humans and computers (e.g.,; theoretical cryptography and security, and computer science theory in general.

I build systems that combine humans and computers to solve large-scale problems that neither can solve alone. I call this Human Computation, but others sometimes call it Crowdsourcing. Some of my past projects include: CAPTCHA, The ESP Game (acquired by Google), GWAP, and reCAPTCHA (acquired by Google).

I'm currently working on Duolingo. (Talk on


Ph.D. in Computer Science, 2005. Carnegie Mellon University. Pittsburgh, PA.
M.S. in Computer Science, May 2003. Duke University, Durham, NC.
B.S. in Mathematics (Summa Cum Laude), May 2000.