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May 18: Carnegie Mellon Selects Jacobo Bielak, Tom Mitchell and Denise Rousseau To Receive University’s Highest Honor


Ken Walters

Carnegie Mellon Selects Jacobo Bielak, Tom Mitchell and
Denise Rousseau To Receive University’s Highest Honor

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University professors Jacobo Bielak, Tom Mitchell and Denise Rousseau have been named University Professors, the highest distinction faculty can achieve at Carnegie Mellon.

Bielak is a professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering, Mitchell is the Fredkin Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the School of Computer Science (SCS) and Rousseau is the H.J. Heinz II Professor of Organizational Behavior and Public Policy at the H. John Heinz III College's School of Public Policy and Management and the Tepper School of Business.

"Jacobo Bielak, Tom Mitchell and Denise Rousseau have contributed to their fields in groundbreaking, innovative and exciting ways," said Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon. "This honor pays tribute to their outstanding interdisciplinary work and their contributions in upholding the highest standards of the university."

BialakFor more than 15 years Bielak and his research team have collaborated with the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center in developing and applying methodologies for modeling ground motion and structural performance in large basins in order to identify what can be done to prevent earthquake disasters.

Bielak currently leads a four-year, $1.6 million NSF-supported project to develop tools for high-fidelity, physics-based petascale simulations of entire seismic-prone regions.

"Jacobo Bielak is known for his pioneering work in creating three-dimensional models that can simulate how earthquakes impact buildings, bridges and other critical infrastructures," said Pradeep K. Khosla, the Philip and Marsha Dowd Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and dean of the College of Engineering. "Jacobo has made many outstanding contributions to his research field, and also to Carnegie Mellon in his teaching and advising of students, and this honor of University Professor is well deserved."

Bielak received his bachelor's degree from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in 1963, a master's from Rice University in 1966 and his Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology in 1971.

MitchellA pioneer in artificial intelligence and machine learning, Mitchell is head of the SCS's Machine Learning Department, the first of its kind when it was established in 2006. His research, which was recently featured on "60 Minutes," focuses on statistical learning algorithms for understanding natural language text and on understanding how the human brain represents information. His work with colleagues in the Psychology Department produced the first computational model to predict brain activation patterns associated with virtually any concrete noun, a step toward the goal of using brain scans to identify thoughts.

"Machine learning has emerged as one of the most powerful tools devised for extracting insightful information from real-world data, with applications ranging from medicine and finance to Web search engines," said Randal E. Bryant, dean of the SCS. "Tom Mitchell has been a driving force for the field of machine learning throughout his career, in the form of both technical contributions and leadership."

Mitchell earned his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering with a minor in computer science at Stanford University. He was named the Fredkin Professor of AI and Machine Learning in 1999. A former president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), he is a fellow of both the AAAI and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and winner of the 2007 AAAI Distinguished Service Award.

RousseauRousseau is the faculty director of the Institute for Social Enterprise and Innovation and chair of the Health Care Policy and Management program.

"Denise's research on psychological contracts and more recently, on evidence-based management is groundbreaking. Her work has had a significant impact on the literature in organizational behavior and management," said Ramayya Krishnan, interim dean of the Heinz College. "Beyond her research, she has made enormous contributions to Carnegie Mellon, as both a colleague to faculty and as a teacher and advisor to students."

She was the 2004-2005 president of the Academy of Management and the 1998-2007 editor-in-chief of the Journal of Organizational Behavior. Rousseau received her bachelor's degree, master's degree and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley with degrees in psychology and anthropology. She has served on panels for the Institute of Medicine, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute for Education. Currently she serves on the editorial boards of five scholarly journals. She will receive the "Academy of Management Organizational Behavior Division's Lifetime Career Contribution Award" in August. Her most recent book, "I-Deals: Idiosyncratic Deals Workers Bargain for Themselves," won the Academy of Management's George Terry Award in 2006.


Pictured above are Jacobo Bielak, Tom Mitchell and Denise Rousseau.