March 18, 2005

Franklin Medal to Aravind Joshi

Aravind Joshi has been awarded the 2005 Benjamin Franklin medal in Computer and Cognitive Science. The citation, quoted below, focuses on his many research contributions and his other honors. It doesn't mention some of the the most important things about Aravind, though. There's his 40 years of tireless work to build a culture of interdisciplinary research on human language, involving linguists, psychologists, philosophers and mathematicians as well as computer scientists and engineers. There's his unwavering intellectual tolerance and respect for alternative approaches, combined with the utmost rigor and the highest standards of evaluation. And at an age when some people might think about retiring, Aravind has been forging into a completely new area of research, modeling the language of biological macromolecules.

Here's what the Franklin Institute has to say about him:

Citation: The 2005 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science is awarded to Aravind Joshi for his fundamental contributions to our understanding of how language is represented in the mind, and for developing techniques that enable computers to process efficiently the wide range of human languages. These advances have led to new methods for computer translation.

Aravind Joshi is a world leader in the interdisciplinary research that covers linguistics, cognitive science, and computer science. His theoretical insights regarding the structure of human language, and the resulting tools and techniques he developed, help us understand how we communicate and allow us to interface with technology more naturally.

After receiving his B.E. in electrical and mechanical engineering from Pune University and his D.I.I.Sc. in communication engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, both in his home country of India, Dr. Joshi began a fruitful academic career in the United States. He received his M.S. (1958) and his Ph.D. (1960), both in electrical engineering, from the University of Pennsylvania, where he has been a professor for the last 40 years. Currently Henry Salvatori Professor of Computer and Cognitive Science, Dr. Joshi is also co-founder and co-director of the University's Institute for Research in Cognitive Science.

Dr. Joshi's numerous awards include the David Rumelhart Prize for 2003 from the Cognitive Science Society, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Computational Linguistics, the Research Excellence Award of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Paris 7. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a founding fellow of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), and a member of the Association for Computational Linguistics, the Linguistic Society of America, and the Association for Computing Machinery.

The other 2005 citations can be found here.


Posted by Mark Liberman at March 18, 2005 05:03 PM