About the Interim Dean

About the Interim Dean

Tom M. Mitchell


Massachusetts Institute of Technology, S.B., electrical engineering
Stanford University, M.S., electrical engineering
Stanford University, Ph.D., electrical engineering (computer science minor)

Research Interests
Computer science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and societal impacts of technology

University Professor
Carnegie Mellon University

Department Head, Machine Learning Department
Carnegie Mellon University

E. Fredkin Professor, School of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University

Chief Scientist and Vice President
WhizBang! Labs

Professor, Computer Science, Robotics, and Language Technologies
Carnegie Mellon University

Assistant/Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science
Rutgers University (1978-1986)

Biographical Sketch

Tom Mitchell is a pioneer in the field of machine learning, a burgeoning branch of artificial intelligence that develops systems capable of learning from data, identifying patterns and making decisions. In 1997, he co-founded the Center for Automated Learning and Discovery, which became the world's first Machine Learning Department in 2006 and offered the first Ph.D. program in machine learning. He led the department until 2016.

Mitchell's work has helped to establish Carnegie Mellon's leadership in artificial intelligence research and education. His research has included the development of statistical learning algorithms and their applications to problems, such as giving computers the ability to understand natural language as well as discovering how the human brain represents information.

Mitchell and colleagues in CMU's Psychology Department produced the first computational model to predict brain activation patterns associated with nouns, work that has since been extended to other word types, word sequences and emotions. His Never Ending Language Learner computer program searches through web pages 24/7 as it teaches itself to read. His projects have been featured on CBS's "60 Minutes," PBS's "NOVA Science NOW" and Werner Herzog's 2016 feature documentary, "Lo and Behold."

More recently, Mitchell has explored how machine learning, and information technology in general, will affect jobs. He co-chaired a study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine that produced a 2017 report on technology and the U.S. workforce.

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 joined Carnegie Mellon in 1986. He has published and lectured extensively, including at the World Economic Forum's prestigious Davos conference.

The university named him the E. Fredkin Professor of AI and Machine Learning in 1999 and a University Professor, CMU's highest faculty distinction, in 2009. 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. He was elected in 2010 to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, and in 2016 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.