Wednesday, March 9, 2011
News Brief: Four on Top 10 Watch ListFour of the 10 most promising young scientists working today in the field of artificial intelligence are either Carnegie Mellon University faculty members or have recently earned their Ph.D.s in computer science at CMU, according to the editors of IEEE Intelligent Systems magazine.
The magazine compiles a list of these outstanding researchers, called “AI’s 10 to Watch,” every two years. The latest list, published in the magazine’s January-February issue, features two faculty members: André Platzer, assistant professor of computer science in the School of Computer Science, and Daniel B. Neill, assistant professor of information systems in the H. John Heinz III College. Neill, who earned his master's degree and Ph.D. in computer science at CMU, also has courtesy appointments in the Machine Learning Department and the Robotics Institute.
Platzer was cited for his pioneering work in developing methods for verifying the performance of cyberphysical systems, such as collision avoidance systems. Neill was recognized for his use of machine learning techniques for early identification of events such as disease outbreaks, crime hot spots and network intrusion.
Also on the list are two people who began their research at Carnegie Mellon as Ph.D. students. Jure Leskovec, who earned his Ph.D. in computational and statistical learning in 2008 and is now an assistant professor of computer science at Stanford University, uses large-scale data-mining and machine learning techniques to analyze the structure and evolution of the Internet. Vincent Conitzer, who earned his master's degree (2003) and Ph.D. (2006) in computer science at CMU and is now an assistant professor of computer science and economics at Duke University, focuses on the intersection of computer science and economics, particularly the use of game theory to create new market mechanisms.
Carnegie Mellon has a long history of leadership in AI, beginning with the creation of Logic Theorist, the first working AI program, by Allen Newell, Herbert Simon and J.C. Shaw in 1956. CMU’s HiTech in 1990 became the first computer chess program to attain a grandmaster rating and, most recently, Eric Nyberg and his students in the Language Technologies Institute played key roles in helping IBM develop Watson, the computer system that defeated two all-time champions in TV’s Jeopardy!
The university has been a pioneer in autonomous navigation, computer vision, machine translation, machine learning and intelligent tutoring systems. Three faculty members — Newell, Raj Reddy and Tom Mitchell — have served as presidents of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and a fourth, Manuela Veloso, is the president-elect. Two years ago, Luis von Ahn, assistant professor of computer science, was included in “AI’s 10 to Watch.”
Pictured above are André Platzer (top) and Daniel Neill.