Professor Raj Reddy, one of the prominent scientists in computer science in the US, is presently serving as the Director of the West Coast campus of Carnegie Mellon University, USA. Professor Reddy a native Indian, earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Guindy Engineering college of the University of Madras, India, in 1958 and a Master’s degree in technology from the University of New South Wales, Australia, in 1960. He received a doctor’s degree in Computer science from Stanford University in 1966 and the same year began his academic career as an Assistant Professor in the same University. Since 1969 for over three decades, the professor has been a member of the Carnegie Mellon University faculty. He served as the Founding Director of the Robotics Institute at the University from 1979 to 1991. For the next ten years, he served as the Dean and professor of Computer Science and Robotics, at the School of Computer Science and now as the Director of the West coast campus. Dr. Reddy’s research interests include the study of human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence. His main area of work is in artificial intelligence in particular with computers that can see, hear, walk, talk etc. His current research project include speech recognition and universal digital libraries, an Information Appliance for rural environments for use by illiterate people, where all creative works of the human race are available to anyone anywhere.
Professor Raj Reddy’s achievements are many. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Acoustical Society of America and the American Association of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). He was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1984 and also awarded the Legion of Honor by President Mitterand of France. He is a member of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academy of Sciences and was Chairman of the DARPA Information Science and Technology Group from 1987 to 1990. He was president of AAAI from 1987 to 1989. He is on the Technology Advisory Board of Microsoft Corp. and received the IBM Research Ralph E. Gomory Visiting Scholar Award in 1991. He was the Co-Chair of the PITAC (President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee) from 1999 to 2001under both Clinton and Bush. In 1994, Professor Redy received jointly with Edward Peigenbaum, the Turing Award which is the most prestigious in the computer science “For pioneering the design and construction of large scale artificial intelligence systems, demonstrating the practical importance and potential commercial impact of artificial intelligence technology”. He also received the prestigious Padma Bhushan Award for his outstanding contributions in computer science and information technology from President K.R. Narayanan of India in an award ceremony in New Delhi. He has been awarded honorary doctorates (Doctor of Science Honoris Causa) from SV University in India, Universite Henri-Poincare in France, University of New South Wales in Australia, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in India, University of Massachusetts in USA, University of Warwick in England, Anna University in India and the Indian Institute for Information Technology (Allahabad) .
On the personal front, Dr. Reddy’s hobbies include walking and mainly reading. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife of 37 years and they have two daughters. His daughters live on the West Coast, in Silicon Valley, California. He visits his native country once a year, his seven brothers and sister live near Bangalore. Today, this brilliant scientist is among the most respected names in the US in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence.