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Dr. Veloso Awarded Einstein Chair Professor
( 2012-01-16 )

Dr. Manuela M. Veloso, the Herbert A. Simon Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, is awarded as an Einstein Chair Professor for 2012 by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Professor Veloso will give her Einstein Chair Professorship lecture at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, China.

The Einstein Professorship Program is a key initiative of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Einstein Professorships will be awarded each year to 20 distinguished international scientists actively working at the frontiers of science and technology. The goals of the program are to: (1) Strengthen science and technology links, cooperation and exchange between CAS scientists and respective Einstein Professors and their laboratories, and (2) Enhance the training of future generations of scientists in China.


Dr. Veloso is the only Einstein Chair Professor in AI, Robotics, and Computer Science this year. Other 2012 recipients of Einstein Chair Professorships include Johann Deisenhofer, a Nobel laureate in chemistry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; Wing Hung Wong, a computational chemist at Stanford University; Toshihide Masukawa, a Nobel laureate in physics at Kyoto University in Japan; and Rick Battarbee, a freshwater ecologist at University College London.


Professor Veloso has made significant and sustained contributions to Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems. She has recently introduced the concept of symbiotic autonomy of intelligent mobile robots, which allows the robots to proactively ask for help from humans and from the web, when they find needed. With her research group, she has developed Collaborative Robots, CoBots, that use symbiotic autonomy to perform tasks for humans in the buildings at Carnegie Mellon University. The CoBots can navigate on their own through hallways while delivering and fetching messages and packages, but know when to ask people for help when they are limited in their perceptual, cognitive, and actuation capabilities. She researches on algorithms that integrate planning under uncertainty, execution, learning, and human-robot interaction. Her research contributions have also been realized concretely in the form of teams of robot soccer playing agents that have won several international championships at the annual RoboCup robot soccer competitions. Her impact and visibility has been consistently high over the past two decades for her technical contributions, for her impressive robot teams, and for her leadership within the research community.


Professor Veloso is a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She is the current President-Elect of AAAI, and will become President this summer. She is a recipient of the Autonomous Agents Research Award from the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence, as well as a National Science Foundation Career Award and the Allen Newell Medal for Excellence in Research.


Besides her Einstein Chair Professor lecture, Professor Veloso will visit Computer Science School of USTC and conduct deep exchange with professors and students, especially the USTC Robotics group on research issues in intelligent robots.