The Association for Computing Machinery                               


Contact:          Virginia Gold






Haussler and Pearl Built Bridges Beyond Computer Science



New York, April 27, 2004 -- The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has recognized Dr. David Haussler and Dr. Judea Pearl for separate groundbreaking contributions that have changed the scientific world beyond computer science and engineering.  Dr. Haussler was cited as possibly the most influential contributor to the field of computational biology.  Dr. Pearl  made seminal contributions to the field of artificial intelligence that extend to philosophy, psychology, medicine, statistics, econometrics, epidemiology and social science.  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 of $10,000.


By focusing on scientific interactions between computer scientists and molecular biologists, Dr. 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.


Dr. Pearl 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.  Dr. 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.


Dr. Haussler is an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and holds the University of California Presidential Chair at the Santa Cruz campus.  He directs the UCSC Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering, and 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 PhD in computer science from the University of Colorado, and an MS in Applied Mathematics at California Polytechnic State University.  A graduate of Connecticut College with a BA in Mathematics, Dr. Haussler is a past chairman of the Steering Committee for the Computational Learning Theory Conferences (COLT) and Associate Editor for the Journal of Computational Biology.


 Dr. Pearl is Professor of Computer Science at the University of California in Los Angeles, and Director of UCLA’s Cognitive Systems Laboratory.  He graduated from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, where he earned a PhD in electrical engineering.  He received an MS in Physics from Rutgers University and BS in Electrical Engineering from the Technion, in Haifa, Israel.  A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Dr. Pearl is a Fellow of AAAI and of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic 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.


About ACM  

ACM ( is widely recognized as the premier organization for computing professionals, delivering resources that advance the computing and IT disciplines, enable professional development, and promote policies and research that benefit society.  ACM hosts the computing industry’s leading Digital Library and Portal to Computing Literature, and serves its global membership with journals and magazines, special interest groups, conferences, workshops, electronic forums, Career Resource Centre and Professional Development Centre.



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