Primary research work is in the area of Artificial Intelligence within Computer Science. Contributed to representation and inference with probabilistic graphical models with a focus on statistical machine learning. Applied probabilistic methods in computational systems biology and in machine vision. Work strongly influenced these fields. Created the Stanford CURIS program, which increased undergraduate involvement in research, and was awarded the Allan V. Cox Medal for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research for that effort. Recently co-founded Coursera, an innovative startup fielding Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which she helped to pioneer at Stanford. Honors include nine best paper awards, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the Computers and Thought award from the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, a MacArthur Fellowship (2004), the Association for Computing Machinery's Infosys Award, and election to the National Academy of Engineering.