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Rationality and intelligence subject of Forsythe Lectures

Stuart Russell, professor of computer science at the University of California-Berkeley, will deliver this year's Forsythe Lectures on the Stanford campus on March 16 and 17.

The first lecture, titled "Rationality and Intelligence," will begin at 7:30 p.m. March 16 in the Hewlett-Packard classroom (B01) in the Gates Computer Science Building. The free public lecture should be of interest to those in the computing, engineering and cognitive community. It will outline the gradual evolution in the formal conception of intelligence that has brought it closer to the informal conception and reduced the gap between theory and practice. A reception will follow the lecture.

The second lecture, "Object Identification in a Bayesian Context," will begin at 4:15 p.m. March 17 in the Hewlett-Packard classroom (B01) in Gates. Russell will discuss the fundamental problem of object identification, by computing the probability that any two perceived objects are the same, given a stream of noisy observations.

Russell was born in 1962 in Portsmouth, England. He received his bachelor's degree with first-class honors in physics from Oxford University in 1982 and his doctorate in computer science from Stanford in 1986 (working with Professor Michael Genesereth).

Russell is a recipient of the Presidential Young Investigator Award of the National Science Foundation, the 1995 Computers and Thought Award, and a 1996 Miller Professorship of the University of California. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence in 1997.

Russell's research interests include machine learning, limited rationality, real-time decision-making, intelligent agent architectures, autonomous vehicles, search, game-playing, reasoning under uncertainty, and commonsense-knowledge representation. He has published more than 90 papers and three books, The Use of Knowledge in Analogy and Induction (Pitman, 1989); Do the Right Thing: Studies in Limited Rationality (MIT Press, 1991, with Eric Wefald); and, most recently, Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (Prentice Hall, 1995, with Peter Norvig).

The annual Forsythe Lectures honor the memory of computer science pioneers George and Sandra Forsythe. George played a leading role in the founding of Stanford's Computer Science Department and was its first chairman. Sandra was a noted computer science educator and textbook author.


By David F. Salisbury

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