Franz Josef Och

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Franz Josef Och (November 2, 1971) is a German computer scientist. He is currently working at Grail (an Illumina company) as Head of Data Science.[1] Prior to this he was Chief Data Scientist[2] at Human Longevity Inc., and earlier worked for Google as a Distinguished Research Scientist and head of machine translation based at Google's Mountain View, California, headquarters south of San Francisco.

Life and work

He studied computer science at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), Germany, where he graduated with a Dipl.Ing. degree in 1998. In 2002, he received his PhD in Computer Science at the Technical University of Aachen (RWTH), Germany[3]. The same year he moved to the United States.

From 2002 to 2004 he worked as a Research Scientist at the Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California (USC). His research activities are in statistical machine translation, natural language processing and machine learning where he has co-authored more than 50 scientific papers. He has written several open-source software packages related to statistical natural language processing and was the chief architect of Google Translate.

In addition to German, he speaks English and some Italian.


  1. ^ Timmerman, Luke. "Google Translate Star Leaves Venter's Human Longevity For Illumina-Backed Grail". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  2. ^ "About Franz Och". Human Longevity, Inc. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  3. ^ Franz. J. Och: Statistical Machine Translation: From Single-Word Models to Alignment Templates. Diss. RWTH Aachen 2002.

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