Ed Feigenbaum

Computer Scientist and AI Pioneer

Feigenbaum (born 1936, New Jersey) is an interdisciplinary computer scientist who pioneered Expert Systems and the knowledge-based approaches to artificial intelligence. He completed his undergraduate degree and Ph.D. at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University). In his PhD thesis, mentored by Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon, he developed EPAM (Elementary Perceiver and Memorizer), one of the first computer models of human learning.

At Stanford, he founded the Heuristic Programming Project and Knowledge Systems Laboratory; directed Stanford's Computation Center; and chaired its Computer Science Department.

For his research, he received the 1994 ACM Turing Award, often regarded as the most prestigious award in Computer Science. The citation read: ”For pioneering the design and construction of large scale artificial intelligence systems, demonstrating the practical importance and potential commercial impact of artificial intelligence technology".

He has been elected to both the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The biennial Feigenbaum Prize, established in his honor by the International Conference on Expert Systems, is now awarded by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).

In 1994-97, he served at the Pentagon as Chief Scientist of the Air Force, and received the U.S. Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Award.

He was cofounder of three Silicon Valley start-ups in the 1980's, and also served as a Director of the Sperry Corporation. He wrote or edited several important books about Artificial Intelligence and computer technology, including Computers and Thought (1963), The Handbook of Artificial Intelligence (1981-84), and The Fifth Generation (1983). To learn more about Ed Feigenbaum view his CHM Fellow bio here


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