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Press Release

Contact:
Jonathan Potts
412-268-6094

For immediate release:
March 1, 2005

Carnegie Mellon Names Scheines Head of Department of Philosophy


Professor Richard Scheines has been named head of the Department of Philosophy effective July 1.
PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University has named Philosophy Professor Richard Scheines the head of its Department of Philosophy effective July 1, 2005.

Scheines has been at Carnegie Mellon since 1988, and his work both as a researcher and an educator typifies the university's multidisciplinary approach and focus on real-world problem solving. His research focuses on causal discovery from a philosophical, statistical and computational perspective. It led to the development of the TETRAD Project, a suite of computer programs for causal modeling that has been applied to many important scientific questions, including whether low levels of lead produce cognitive deficits in children. Scheines is now serving on a National Academy of Sciences committee investigating the influence of food marketing on the diets of youth and children. He has co-authored four books, published nearly 80 articles and technical papers, and has developed several state-of-the-art educational technology applications. He is one of the founders of Carnegie Mellon's Open Learning Initiative (OLI), a program to develop a series of web-based, interactive, demonstrably effective university-level courses, and a faculty member in both the university's Center for Automated Learning and Discovery and the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, where he directs the undergraduate major.

"Richard Scheines is a perfect person to lead the Department of Philosophy. He is internationally recognized for his research on causation, and he is deeply committed to education," said John Lehoczky, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (H&SS) at Carnegie Mellon.

"He is playing a leading role in improving the delivery of instruction and measuring its effectiveness. The breadth of his engagements across campus and his experience as associate department head will serve the Philosophy Department and H&SS well," Lehoczky said.

Scheines earned master's and doctoral degrees in the history and philosophy of science from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor's degree in history from Hobart College in New York. "The professors in philosophy are spectacular, so I'm truly honored to be chosen as the next head. Of course, my three teenage daughters will now redouble their efforts to keep me humble," Scheines said.

Scheines will succeed as head Philosophy Professor Wilfried Sieg, who has led the department since 1994. Under Sieg's direction, the department has climbed to the top of the national rankings in its specialties: the influential Leiter Report ranks the department #1 in Mathematical Logic, #1 in Philosophy of Social Science, #3 in Decision Theory and Rational Choice and #5 in Philosophy of Science. The Philosophy Department is actively engaged in interdisciplinary research and education throughout the university.

"Wilfried Sieg has been a superb head of the Department of Philosophy. His leadership has been instrumental in the department's rise in national prominence," Lehoczky said. "He also has had a major impact on the development of general education both in H&SS and the university at large."

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