The IJCAI Organization is proud to announce the IJCAI-17 Awards for Research Excellence, the John McCarthy Award, and the Computers and Thought Award. These honors are awarded by the IJCAI Board of Trustees, upon recommendation by the IJCAI-17 Awards Selection Committee, which consists this year of

  • Qiang Yang, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Chair) (HONG KONG, CHINA)
  • Craig Boutilier, Google (USA)
  • Yolanda Gil, University of Southern California (USA)
  • Joelle Pineau, McGill University (CANADA)
  • Francesca Rossi, University of Padova (ITALY) and

The IJCAI Awards Selection Committee receives advice from members of the IJCAI-17 Awards Review Committee, who comment on the accuracy of the nomination material and provide additional information about the nominees. The IJCAI-17 Awards Review Committee is the union of the former Trustees of IJCAI, the IJCAI-17 Advisory Committee, the Program Chairs of the last three IJCAI conferences, and the past recipients of the IJCAI Award for Research Excellence and the IJCAI Distinguished Service Award, with nominees excluded.


IJCAI-17 Award for Research Excellence

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.

They are: John McCarthy (1985), Allen Newell (1989), Marvin Minsky (1991), Raymond Reiter (1993), Herbert Simon (1995), Aravind Joshi (1997), Judea Pearl (1999), Donald Michie (2001), Nils Nilsson (2003), Geoffrey E. Hinton (2005), Alan Bundy (2007), Victor Lesser (2009), Robert Anthony Kowalski (2011), Hector Levesque (2013), Barbara Grosz (2015), and Michael I. Jordan (2016).

The winner of the 2017 Award for Research Excellence is Andrew Barto, Professor Emeritus, College of Information and Computer Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Professor Barto is recognized for his groundbreaking and impactful research in both the theory and application of reinforcement learning.


IJCAI-17 Computers and Thought Award

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. Past recipients of this honor have been: Terry Winograd (1971), Patrick Winston (1973), Chuck Rieger (1975), Douglas Lenat (1977), David Marr (1979), Gerald Sussman (1981), Tom Mitchell (1983), Hector Levesque (1985), Johan de Kleer (1987), Henry Kautz (1989), Rodney Brooks (1991), Martha Pollack (1991), Hiroaki Kitano (1993), Sarit Kraus (1995), Stuart Russell (1995), Leslie Kaelbling (1997), Nicholas Jennings (1999), Daphne Koller (2001), Tuomas Sandholm (2003), Peter Stone (2007), Carlos Guestrin (2009), Andrew Ng (2009),Vincent Conitzer (2011), Malte Helmert (2011), Kristen Grauman (2013), Ariel Procaccia (2015), and Percy Liang (2016).

The winner of the 2017 IJCAI Computers and Thought Award is Devi Parikh, Assistant Professor at School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology. Professor Parikh is recognized for her contributions at the intersection of words, pictures, and common sense -- from semantic image understanding, to the use of visual attributes for human-machine collaboration and visual abstractions for learning common sense, to enabling humans to interact with visual content via natural language.


IJCAI-17 John McCarthy Award

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.

Past recipients of this honor have been: Bart Selman (2015) and Moshe Tennenholtz (2016).

The winner of the 2017 John McCarthy Award is Dan Roth, Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania. Professor Roth is recognized for major conceptual and theoretical advances in the modeling of natural language understanding, machine learning and reasoning.


Donald E. Walker Distinguished Service Award

The IJCAI Distinguished Service Award was established in 1979 by the IJCAI Trustees to honor senior scientists in AI for contributions and service to the field during their careers. Previous recipients have been: Bernard Meltzer (1979), Arthur Samuel (1983), Donald Walker (1989), Woodrow Bledsoe (1991), Daniel G. Bobrow (1993), Wolfgang Bibel (1999), Barbara Grosz (2001), Alan Bundy (2003), Raj Reddy (2005), Ronald J. Brachman (2007), Luigia Carlucci Aiello (2009), Raymond C. Perrault (2011), Wolfgang Wahlster (2013), Anthony G. Cohn (2015), and Erik Sandewall (2016).

At IJCAI-17, the Donald E. Walker Distinguished Service Award will be given to Ramon Lopez de Mantaras, Research Professor of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and Director of the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute of the CSIC.

Professor Lopez de Mantaras is recognized for his substantial contributions, as well as his extensive service to the field of Artificial Intelligence throughout his career.