Menlo Park, California — The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) is delighted to announce that Sebastian Thrun, Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and Director of the Stanford AI Lab at Stanford University, and William A. “Red” Whittaker, Professor, Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, have been selected as the joint winners of the inaugural 2011 AAAI Feigenbaum Prize. Thrun and Whittaker, whose teams won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge and 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge, respectively, are being recognized in particular for high-impact contributions to the field of artificial intelligence through innovation and achievement in autonomous vehicle research, transitioning the concept of an autonomous vehicle from the realm of fiction to reality.
“The shared award recognizes the technical leadership and vision of Red and Sebastian who worked with their respective teams at CMU and Stanford to solve challenging problems with machine perception, learning, and decision making in the open world,” said, Eric Horvitz, Chair of the Feigenbaum Prize Committee and the Immediate Past President of AAAI.
The associated cash prize of $10,000 is provided by the Feigenbaum Nii Foundation. The prize will be presented during the opening ceremony of AAAI-11, to be held Tuesday, August 9, at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco.
The AAAI Feigenbaum Prize was established in 2010 and is awarded biennially to recognize and encourage outstanding Artificial Intelligence research advances that are made by using experimental methods of computer science. Edward Feigenbaum is a Kumagai Professor of Computer Science Emeritus at Stanford University. Feigenbaum earned his Ph.D at Carnegie Mellon University from 1956–59. In the 1960s and 1970s, he was a pioneer in AI research as experimental computer science, and in the applications of AI research. In 1986, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and in 1995, he received computer science’s highest research honor — The ACM Turing Award. Feigenbaum was the second president of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, serving from 1980–81, and was elected to AAAI Fellowship in 1990.
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