Edward Feigenbaum educated at Carnegie Mellon University, from which he holds a B.S. (1956) and Ph.D. (1960). His dissertation, supervised by Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon, produced the first computer simulation of human learning. He coauthored the first public list processing language, IPL-V. Because of his pioneering work on high performance Artificial Intelligence systems he is called “the father of expert systems.” He founded the Heuristic Programming Project at Stanford University, where he is currently a Professor Emeritus of Computer Science.
Feigenbaum joined the Stanford computer science faculty in 1965. That year he and Nobel laureate biologist Joshua Lederberg started the DENDRAL project, producing the world’s first expert system. DENDRAL’s groundbreaking accomplishments inspired an evolution of expert systems, moving artificial intelligence out of the laboratory and into the structure of countless software applications. As important, it changed the framework of AI science: the power of an AI program came to be seen as largely in its knowledge base, not in its inference processes.
Feigenbaum coauthored and coedited important books: Computers and Thought, the four volume encyclopedia Handbook of Artificial Intelligence, and popular-audience books Fifth Generation, and Rise of the Expert Company.
From 1994 to 1997, he served as Chief Scientist of the U.S. Air Force; and was awarded its Exceptional Civilian Service Award.
In 1994, Feigenbaum received the ACM Turing Award. He is an inaugural member of the IEEE Intelligent Systems Artificial Intelligence Hall of Fame. In 2012, he was elected to the Hall of Fellows of the Computer History Museum.
He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was first recipient of the Feigenbaum Medal of the International Congress on Expert Systems. The Feigenbaum Prize is awarded biennially by AAAI, (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).
2013 Computer Pioneer Award “For pioneering work in Artificial Intelligence, including development of the basic principles and methods of knowledge-based systems and their practical applications.” Learn more about the Computer Pioneer Award