May 3, 2004
Haussler honored by computer science group as
an innovator who changed the scientific world
By Tim Stephens
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has named David Haussler,
professor of biomolecular engineering and director of UCSC's Center
for Biomolecular Science and Engineering (CBSE), a corecipient of the
2003 Allen Newell Award. Haussler was recognized along with UCLA computer
scientist Judea Pearl for separate groundbreaking contributions that
have changed the scientific world beyond computer science and engineering.
David Haussler was cited as possibly the most influential contributor
to the field of computational biology. Photo:
Haussler, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, was cited
as possibly the most influential contributor to the field of computational
biology. Pearl, director of UCLA's Cognitive Systems Laboratory, made
seminal contributions to the field of artificial intelligence.
As the recipients of the 2003 Allen Newell Award, they demonstrate
the remarkable influence that computer science and artificial intelligence
can have on other sciences, on practical tools, and on human thought.
The Allen Newell Award, which is cosponsored by ACM and the American
Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), comes with a cash prize
By focusing on scientific interactions between computer scientists
and molecular biologists, Haussler has played a leading role in developing
the new field of computational biology. His work laid the foundation
for the modern probabilistic approach to detecting and analyzing the
biological components of the human genome. His collaborations led to
algorithms to assemble the first public working draft of the human genome
and posting it on the World Wide Web. He also aided in developing interactive
web-based browsers that analyzed and annotated genome sequences of human
beings and other organisms. These web-based tools are used extensively
in biomedical research.
Haussler is a fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement
of Science (AAAS) and the American Association of Artificial Intelligence
(AAAI). He earned a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of
Colorado and an M.S. in applied mathematics at California Polytechnic
State University. A graduate of Connecticut College with a B.A. in mathematics,
Haussler is a past chairman of the Steering Committee for the Computational
Learning Theory Conferences (COLT) and associate editor of the Journal
of Computational Biology.
Pearl, a professor of computer science at UCLA, realized the overwhelming
prevalence of uncertain information in real-world systems and developed
a theoretical and algorithmic foundation for artificial intelligence
based on probability theory. He forged links between computer science
and statistics, developing models that are used to describe everything
from the effects of diseases to the likely behavior of terrorists. Pearl's
ideas have revolutionized the understanding of causality in statistics,
psychology, medicine, and the social sciences. His book Probabilistic
Reasoning in Intelligent Systems is among the single most influential
works in shaping the theory and practice of knowledge-based systems.
Pearl graduated from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, where he earned
a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. He received an M.S. in physics from
Rutgers University and a B.S. in electrical engineering from the Technion,
in Haifa, Israel. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Pearl
is a fellow of AAAI and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers (IEEE). He is president of the Board of Directors of the Daniel
Pearl Foundation, and has asked that his share of the Allen Newell
Award be donated to the foundation.
ACM will present the Allen Newell Award at the annual ACM Awards Banquet
on June 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York. The award was named for Allen
Newell, a pioneer in artificial intelligence. It is presented to an
individual selected for career contributions that have breadth within
computer science, or that bridge computer science and other disciplines.
This endowed award is supported by the American Association for Artificial
Intelligence and by individual contributions.
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