Judea Pearl to receive honorary degree from Carnegie Mellon



By Bill Kisliuk | April 28, 2015

Judea Pearl, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence and a professor of computer science at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science and Technology degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

Carnegie Mellon is recognizing Pearl for his “landmark achievements in the theory and practice of artificial intelligence.” The university notes Pearl’s influential writings and wide-ranging research has had “sweeping impact for statistics, philosophy, biomedicine and econometrics, to name a few” disciplines, and “has had a profound influence on computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon.”

Pearl will receive the honor at Carnegie Mellon’s commencement on May 17.

Pearl earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the Technion in Israel, his master’s degree in physics from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. He joined the UCLA faculty in 1970.

He created a computational foundation for processing information under uncertainty, a core problem faced by intelligent systems. He has developed methods that enable machines to reason about actions and observations, and to assess cause-effect relationships from empirical findings. His work serves applications ranging from medical diagnosis to homeland security, and has influenced the understanding of human reasoning and the philosophy of science.

His many awards and honors include the A.M. Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery, known as the Nobel Prize for computer science, as well as honorary doctorates from Texas A & M, the University of Toronto and Chapman University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the Cognitive Science Society, and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

Pearl is president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, named after his son.