University of Rochester

New Academic-Industry Collaboration Brings Talent to Rochester

October 4, 2006

A new kind of collaboration between the University of Rochester and the Eastman Kodak Company will bring a national leader in artificial intelligence research to Rochester.

The arrangement between industry and academia attracts University alumnus Henry A. Kautz from the University of Washington back to Rochester, and serves as a model for future efforts to attract distinguished scientific talent to the area.

"This partnership between the University and Kodak is a marvelous example of the ways in which Rochester's institutions can forge powerful alliances," says Peter Lennie, Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. "We're delighted to blaze a trail with Kodak in finding ways to draw exceptional talent to the Rochester area."

As a professor in the University of Rochester's Department of Computer Science, where he earned his doctorate in 1987, Kautz will continue his path-breaking research in the field of computational cognition science. He will also help the University establish a new center for artificial intelligence, concentrating the University's current strengths in this area. His work will likely span the University campuses, bringing together computer science in the College and neuroscience in the Medical Center.

In addition to his university program, for the next two years Kautz also will serve as director of Kodak's Intelligent Systems Research Center. Kodak's Chief Technical Officer Bill Lloyd points out that "Kodak has built a wealth of understanding of images and human perception. Combining this knowledge with artificial intelligence will produce breakthroughs in the way that consumers interact with their ever-increasing digital image collections. These advances will make it easier to capture, download, organize, search, edit, and print digital images."

"We're very pleased to welcome Henry as a member of our faculty," says Mitsu Ogihara, chair of the Department of Computer Science. "His achievements in both his commercial and academic careers have earned him a stand-out reputation for cutting-edge work in computational cognition science. His appointments in the Rochester area will no doubt draw more attention to us as a city of intellectual leaders."

Kautz comes to Rochester from the University of Washington where he was a professor of computer science and engineering. There he led research into sensor-based ubiquitous computing, and automated reasoning. He initiated the Assisted Cognition project, an interdisciplinary effort of the University of Washington's School of Medicine and the Department of Computer Science, which is developing assistive technology for people with cognitive disabilities. He is a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, and winner of the Computers & Thought Award. He has 13 years of industrial experience at AT&T Bell Laboratories and AT&T Labs.

Kautz earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Cornell University, a master's degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University, a master's in computer science from the University of Toronto, and his doctorate in computer science from the University of Rochester.