Mind Matters: A Tribute to Allen Newell

Mind Matters: A Tribute to Allen Newell

Mind Matters: A Tribute to Allen Newell

Mind Matters: A Tribute to Allen Newell


Based on a symposium honoring the extensive work of Allen Newell -- one of the founders of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, human-computer interaction, and the systematic study of computational architectures -- this volume demonstrates how unifying themes may be found in the diversity that characterizes current research on computers and cognition. The subject matter includes:

• an overview of cognitive and computer science by leading researchers in the field;

• a comprehensive description of Allen Newell's "Soar" -- a computational architecture he developed as a unified theory of cognition;

• commentary on how the Soar theory of cognition relates to important issues in cognitive and computer science;

• rigorous treatments of controversial issues in cognition -- methodology of cognitive science, hybrid approaches to machine learning, word-sense disambiguation in understanding material language, and the role of capability processing constraints in architectural theory;

• comprehensive and systematic methods for studying architectural evolution in both hardware and software;

• a thorough discussion of the use of analytic models in human computer interaction;

• extensive reviews of important experiments in the study of scientific discovery and deduction; and

• an updated analysis of the role of symbols in information processing by Herbert Simon.

Incorporating the research of top scientists inspired by Newell's work, this volume will be of strong interest to a large variety of scientific communities including psychologists, computational linguists, computer scientists and engineers, and interface designers. It will also be valuable to those who study the scientific process itself, as it chronicles the impact of Newell's approach to research, simultaneously delving into each scientific discipline and producing results that transcend the boundaries of those disciplines.


Allen Newell is most often described as one of the founders of artificial intelligence, but he could be equally well described as a founder of cognitive science, the field of human-computer interaction, or the systematic study of computational architectures. When the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University decided to hold a symposium in Allen's honor, finding a structure that would honor all these facets of his career was a true challenge. Allen would have described the process we went through as he would have described any other problem-solving episode: as a search through many alternatives, subject to myriad constraints on the acceptable solution. One significant constraint on the solution came from Allen himself. that any scientific tribute to him would lean far more heavily on science than on tribute. a second constraint arose from the amazing diversity of Allen's research contributions. Although Allen's career was devoted to understanding how computers could be used to understand the nature of mind, no single one of the traditional scientific disciplines could lay a dominant claim on Allen's interests. Indeed, he seemed to win the highest honor in virtually every field in which he became involved. These included the Harry Goode Award of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies (1971); the A. M. Turing Award of the Association for Computing Machinery, joint with Herbert Simon (1975); the Alexander C. Williams, Jr., Award of the Human Factors Society (1979); the Distinguished Research Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association (1985); the Research Excellence Award of the Interna-

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