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Public Relations Office, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh PA 15213-3891
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8 April 1999

Computer Science Professor Tom Mitchell Named Carnegie Mellon's Fredkin Professor of AI and Learning

Tom M. Mitchell, Carnegie Mellon University professor of computer science and robotics, and director of the Center for Automated Learning and Discovery (CALD) in the School of Computer Science (SCS), has been named the Fredkin Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Learning in SCS.

The Fredkin professorship is being established to honor entrepreneur and philanthropist Edward Fredkin, a pioneer in artificial intelligence and robotics. Fredkin was head of the Laboratory for Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the early 1970s. In 1980, he established a three-tiered prize at Carnegie Mellon to encourage research in computer chess. The final tier of that prize--$100,000-- was awarded to a team from IBM in 1997 for developing a machine that beat world chess champion Gary Kasparov.

Mitchell is best known for his work on machine learning, where he has developed algorithms that allow computers to automatically improve with experience, software that learns to customize to its users, robots that automatically learn about their environment and Web browsers that learn to extract information from hypertext. He is the author of the widely used textbook Machine Learning.

"Tom has distinguished himself as one of the world experts in the area of computer-based learning and discovery,P said SCS Dean Raj Reddy. "He is also director of the Center for Automated Learning and Discovery, whose researchers are doing a great deal of innovative work."

Mitchell is the founding director of CALD, which focuses on datamining and new computer learning algorithms. Established in 1997, the center has attracted a growing number of affiliates from the business and manufacturing arenas, and the scientific community. All of these organizations wish to extract information from the data they've collected on many fronts to make them more productive, innovative and efficient.

Mitchell earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973, He received master's and doctors degrees from Stanford University in the same field in 1975 and 1979, respectively. Prior to joining the Carnegie Mellon faculty in 1986, he taught at Rutgers University.

In recognition of his work in artificial intelligence, Mitchell received the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) "Computers and Thought Award" in 1983. He has been a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence since 1990, and a member of the National Research Council Computer Science and Telecommunications Board since 1998.


Carnegie Mellon: Anne Watzman, SCS, 412.268.3830

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