Mason Elected AAAS Fellow

Marylee WilliamsThursday, April 18, 2024

Matthew Mason, professor emeritus and a former Robotics Institute director, has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Matthew Mason, a professor emeritus in the Robotics Institute (RI) at Carnegie Mellon University and chief scientist at Berkshire Grey, has been elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Mason, who was honored "for pioneering scientific, leadership and educational contributions in robotics," joined CMU's faculty in 1982 and served as RI director from 2004 to 2014. Mason is faculty in the Manipulation Lab, or M Lab, which works on projects like robot dexterity and regrasping objects. He said the freedom at the RI is one thing that makes it special, along with the students.

"I remember when somebody was visiting. After they were here for a day, they came in my office and they were all agog and excited," he recalled. "They said 'Wow, it's awesome here! Every day is like you're at a robotics conference.' I hadn't thought about that. There's always posters up about talks. You can go to as many talks in robotics as you want, and there are a zillion people to talk to about it."

For decades, Mason has studied robotic manipulation and how robots move and grasp items —  topics that interest him because they're puzzles. His primary research focuses on simple hands, such as tongs or grippers; and combining machine learning with artificial intelligence, control and mechanical design to further robot manipulation.

Mason joins four other CMU faculty members as 2024 AAAS fellows: Linda Argote in the Tepper School of Business; Philip LeDuc in the College of Engineering; and Alison Barth and Prasad Tetali in the Mellon College of Science.

"As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the AAAS fellows, AAAS is proud to recognize the newly elected individuals. This year's class embodies scientific excellence, fosters trust in science throughout the communities they serve and leads the next generation of scientists while advancing scientific achievements," said Sudip S. Parikh, AAAS chief executive officer and executive publisher of the Science family of journals.

Learn more about the 2024 class of fellows on the AAAS website.

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