Reddy Awarded 2005 Honda Prize From the Honda Foundation

BY Byron Spice - Mon, 2005-08-01 12:00  Printer-friendly version

PITTSBURGH—Raj Reddy, Carnegie Mellon University's Mozah Bint Nasser University Professor of Computer Science and Robotics, has been awarded the 2005 Honda Prize by the Prize Selection Committee of the Honda Foundation.

The prize includes an honorary certificate, a medal and 10 million yen (roughly $89,000), for his contributions to "Eco-Technology," a concept that technology does not pursue efficiency and profits alone but is geared toward harmony with the environment surrounding human activities.

According to the Honda Foundation, Reddy is being honored for his outstanding achievements in computer science and robotics, particularly "as a world leader in the study of human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, and speech and visual recognition by machine."

The foundation also cited his impressive career as an educator, noting that he was founding director of Carnegie Mellon's "renowned" Robotics Institute and has vigorously promoted and enhanced the international robotics community by accepting and educating many researchers from companies and universities around the world.

"As a result, robotics has become one of the most promising technological areas for today's industry as well as future society in the sense that it helps create more harmonious relationships between man and nature through the involvement of intelligent machines," according to the foundation.

"This honor truly reflects Raj's contributions to our university and society," said Carnegie Mellon Provost Mark Kamlet. "He has been committed to raising the bar in education and research for more than 30 years—as founding head of the Robotics Institute and as a visionary dean expanding the horizons of our School of Computer Science into seminal new areas. Now he is using his life experience and academic expertise to reach across the digital divide to improve the lives of the world's poorest people with the Million Book Digital Library project and the PCtvt, an inexpensive, wirelessly networked, personal computer combining television, video and telephone."

"Throughout his career, Raj has promoted a vision that technology can improve the quality of life for people all over the world, while also minimizing the impact that humans have on the environment," added Randal E. Bryant, dean of the School of Computer Science. "This award from the Honda Foundation recognizes the many ways Raj has made that vision a reality."

Reddy has been a member of the Carnegie Mellon faculty since 1969. He holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Madras, India, and a master of technology degree from the University of New South Wales, Australia. He began his academic career as an assistant professor at Stanford University after receiving his doctorate there in 1966. He served as the founding director of the Robotics Institute from 1979 to 1991 and as dean of the School of Computer Science from 1991 to 1999.

Reddy has been recognized worldwide as a leader in robotics and computing research for more than 30 years. His research interests include the study of human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence. In 1984, he was awarded the Legion of Honor by (then) President Mitterrand of France for his work in developing countries of the world. He received the ACM Turing Award for his work in the field of artificial intelligence in 1994. He served as co-chair of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) from 1999 to 2001. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Acoustical Society of America and the American Association for Artificial Intelligence.

In 2001, he was awarded Padma Bhushan by the President of India, an award that recognizes distinguished service of a high order to the nation, in any field. He holds eight honorary doctorates from universities around the world. In 2004, Reddy received the Okawa Prize, intended to recognize and honor people who have made outstanding contributions to the research, technological development and business in the information and telecommunications fields, internationally.

Earlier this year Reddy was honored as the first recipient of Carnegie Mellon Qatar's Mozah Bint Nasser Chair of Computer Science and Robotics. A gift from the Qatar Foundation, the chair was awarded as part of the inaugural celebration honoring the opening of the university's new campus in Qatar.

The Honda Foundation was established in 1977 by the late Soichiro Honda, founder of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Reddy will deliver a one-hour memorial speech when he receives the Honda Prize in Tokyo on November 25, 2005.

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Byron Spice | 412-268-9068 | bspice [atsymbol] cs.cmu.edu