Newell, Allen

Alternative names
Birth 1927-03-19
Death 1992-07-19

Biographical notes:

Computer scientist.

From the description of Oral history interview with Allen Newell, 1991 June 10-12. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 63277416

Allen Newell was born in San Francisco, California in 1927 and died in Pittsburgh, PA in 1992. He was the Carnegie Mellon University U. A. and Helen Whitaker Professor of Computer Science.

Newell had been a faculty of CMU as professor from 1961 until his death on July 19, 1992. He received his B.S. in physics from Stanford University in 1949, and his doctorate in IndustrialAdministration from Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1957. Newell worked at the RAND Corporation as a research scientist from 1950- 1961. While a researcher at RAND, Newell was instrumental with the production of programs such as ZOG and JOSS. At the RAND Corporation, Newell became acquainted with Herbert Simon, Nobel Laureate and then professor of Industrial Administration at Carnegie Institute of Technology. One of their largest efforts was the establishment of Carnegie Mellon's Department (later School) of Computer Science. On June 23, 1992 Newell was awarded the prestigious National Medal of Science.

Newell also served as the first president of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and was instrumental in the creation and development of scientific studies utilizing human cognition and artificial intelligence. Newell authored and co-authored more than 250 publications which include 10 books. Through the combined effort of Newell and Simon the work, "Human Problem Solving" was published in 1972. In 1990, Newell authored "Unified Theories of Cognition," which was his last publication. Newell headed the Task Force on the Future of Computing at Carnegie Mellon University. He also delivered the William James Lectures at the Harvard Department of Psychology in 1987, and various other institutions.

The project for which Newell is most credited is that of SOAR. SOAR is an artificially intelligent software system capable of problem solving and learning in ways similar to human beings. The SOAR project began in early 1980 and is now used at research institutions around the country. In October 1992,the CMU School of Computer Science honored Allen Newell through a symposium entitled Mind Matters. The symposium focused on artificial intelligence and current computing technology.

From the description of The Allen Newell Collection, 1940-1992. 1940-1992. (Carnegie Mellon University). WorldCat record id: 37295390


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  • Artificial intelligence--Research
  • Automatic speech recognition
  • Computer chess
  • Computer science--Research
  • Cognition
  • Problem solving
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Programming languages (Electronic computers)--History
  • Logician
  • ARPANET (Computer network)
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Electronic data processing--Distributed processing
  • Computer science--History


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