I was born in Seattle, WA. At the time, my father, Ronald Getoor, was a professor in the mathematics department at the University of Washington, and my mother, Ann Getoor, worked on the design of commercial airplanes at Boeing. When I was four, my dad took a position in the math department at UCSD, and we moved to San Diego. I grew up in San Diego, and am spoilt forever by its temperate climate.
Not wanting to move too far from the nice beaches and good weather, I did my undergraduate degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science, highest honors. Then, I moved further up the coast of California, and went to UC Berkeley. I did my MS in Computer Science with Stuart Russell; my master's thesis was 'The Instance Description Language: How it can be Derived and the use of its Derivation", which discussed the tree-structured bias induced by a logical reasoning system, and under what circumstances this lead to a computationally tractable learning problem (from the perspective of computational learning theory).
After graduating from Berkeley, I moved south a bit, working for several years at a small expert systems company in Palo Alto, Aion Corporation, where I was Ms. Object Oriented Programming, adding OO features to the company's expert system. Then I moved a bit further south, to work at NASA-Ames, in Mountain View, CA. I worked on the COLLAGE Planning system, with Amy Lansky. I really enjoyed my time working in the AI group at NASA-Ames.
In 1995, I decided to return to school to get my PhD in Computer Science at Stanford University. I received a National Physical Sciences Consortium fellowship, which in addition to supporting me for six years, supported a summer internship at Xerox PARC, where I worked with Markus Fromherz and his group. Daphne Koller was my PhD advisor; in addition to working with her, I worked closely with Nir Friedman, and many other members of the DAGS group, including Avi Pfeffer, Mehran Sahami, Ben Taskar, Carlos Guestrin,Uri Lerner,Ron Parr, Eran Segal, Simon Tong,