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Computer scientist James Allen named AAAS fellow

November 24, 2020

His contributions enable humans to interact more effectively with computers.

James Allen headshot.

University of Rochester computer science professor James Allen (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

James Allen, the John H. Dessauer Professor of Computer Science at the University of Rochester, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

AAAS, the world’s largest general scientific society, elects fellows based on distinguished scientific and social efforts to advance science or its applications.

Allen, who is also associate director and a senior researcher at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Pensacola, is one of 489 fellows chosen this year. He is being recognized for “broad contributions to artificial intelligence and natural language understanding, including seminal contributions in temporal logic.”

His contributions include PLOW (Procedure Learning on the Web), a system that enables a user to teach the computer to perform tasks on the web, and TRIPS (The Rochester Interactive Planning System), an intelligent planning assistant that interacts with its human manager using a combination of natural language and graphical displays.

Allen joined the Department of Computer Science at Rochester in 1979 as an assistant professor after completing his PhD in computer science at the University of Toronto. He served as chair of the department from 1987 to 1990 and received the William H. Riker Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching in 1997. He has supervised 34 PhD students.

Allen is a recipient of a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award. He recently also received the Herbert Simon Award from the Cognitive Systems Foundation. A fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the Cognitive Science Society, Allen was editor-in-chief of the journal Computational Linguistics from 1983–1993.

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Category: University News