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March 9: Carnegie Mellon's Manuela Veloso Wins Autonomous Agents Research Award


Byron Spice                            

Anne Watzman

Carnegie Mellon's Manuela Veloso Wins
Autonomous Agents Research Award

VelosoPITTSBURGH—Manuela M. Veloso, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University who studies how robots can learn, plan and work together to accomplish tasks, is the winner of the 2009 Autonomous Agents Research Award from the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence (ACM/SIGART).
The award, presented annually in collaboration with the International Conference on Autonomous Agents, recognizes researchers who are doing influential work in the area of autonomous agents — robots, software agents or any other system that can sense its environment and act on that information in pursuit of its own goals.
Veloso, who holds the Herbert A. Simon Chair in Computer Science, is known for her research in artificial intelligence and robotics, and her pioneering work on robot soccer, which has emerged as an important research tool for studying how autonomous agents can work cooperatively in complex, uncertain environments. She is president of the International RoboCup Federation, which sponsors annual world championships in robot soccer. She and her students have fielded RoboCup teams since 1997, and have been international champions several times.
"Professor Veloso's research is particularly noteworthy for its focus on the effective construction of teams of robot agents, where cognition, perception and action are seamlessly integrated to address planning, execution and learning tasks," according to the SIGART award citation. "Her impact and visibility have been consistently high over the past two decades for her technical contributions, for her impressive robot teams and for her leadership within the research community."
Veloso will present a lecture and receive her award at the Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems Conference, May 10-15 in Budapest, Hungary. Previous winners from Carnegie Mellon include Katia Sycara, research professor in the Robotics Institute, and Tuomas Sandholm, professor of computer science.
Veloso received her doctor's degree in computer science from Carnegie Mellon in 1992. She earned her bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, and a master's degree in electrical and computer engineering from the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon, Portugal. Her honors include being named a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and holding Carnegie Mellon's Finmeccanica Junior Faculty Chair from 1995 to 1999. She is a recipient of a National Science Foundation Career Award and the university's Allen Newell Medal for Excellence in Research.


Manuela M. Veloso, a professor of computer science, is the winner of the 2009 Autonomous Agents Research Award.