Award Winners

Research Excellence Award: Eugene Freuder

The Research Excellence award is given to a scientist who has carried out a program of research of consistently high quality throughout an entire career yielding several substantial results. Past recipients of this honor are the most illustrious group of scientists from the field of Artificial Intelligence.

The winner of the 2020 Award for Research Excellence is Eugene Freuder, Professor Emeritus, School of Computer Science and Information Technology, University College Cork.  Professor Freuder is recognized for his pioneering research in constraint-based reasoning and problem solving.

Computer and Thought Award: Piotr Skowron

The Computers and Thought Award is presented at IJCAI conferences to outstanding young scientists in artificial intelligence. The award was established with royalties received from the book, Computers and Thought, edited by Edward Feigenbaum and Julian Feldman. It is currently supported by income from IJCAI funds.

The winner of the 2020 IJCAI Computers and Thought Award is Piotr Skowron, Assistant Professor at Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics, University of Warsaw.  Professor Skowron is recognized for his contributions to computational social choice, and to the theory of committee elections.

John McCarthy Award: Daniela Rus

The IJCAI John McCarthy Award is intended to recognize established mid-career researchers, typically between fifteen to twenty-five years after obtaining their PhD, that have built up a major track record of research excellence in artificial intelligence. Nominees of the award will have made significant contributions to the research agenda in their area and will have a first-rate profile of influential research results.

The award is named for John McCarthy (1927-2011), who is widely recognized as one of the founders of the field of artificial intelligence. As well as giving the discipline its name, McCarthy made fundamental contributions of lasting importance to computer science in general and artificial intelligence in particular, including time-sharing operating systems, the LISP programming languages, knowledge representation, common-sense reasoning, and the logicist paradigm in artificial intelligence.

The award was established with the full support and encouragement of the McCarthy family.

The winner of the 2020 John McCarthy Award is Daniela Rus, Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT.  Professor Rus is recognized for her contributions to the science and engineering of autonomy, and development of multi-agent algorithms.