Magazine article AI Magazine

John McCarthy, in Memoriam

Magazine article AI Magazine

John McCarthy, in Memoriam

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

It is with great sadness that AAAI notes the passing on October 24, 2011 of John McCarthy, professor emeritus of computer science at Stanford University. McCarthy, a past president of AAAI and an AAAI Fellow, helped design the foundation of today's internet-based computing and is widely credited with coining the term, artificial intelligence.

Trained as a mathematician, he was responsible for seminal advances in the field and was often called the father of computer time-sharing, a major development of the 1960s that enabled many people and organizations to draw simultaneously from a single computer source without having to own one. While teaching mathematics at Dartmouth in 1956, McCarthy was the principal organizer of the first Dartmouth Conference on Artificial Intelligence. In 1958, he moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where, with Marvin Minsky, he founded the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. It was at MIT that he began working on the List Processing Language, or Lisp, which became a standard tool for artificial intelligence research and design. …

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