Forward Thinking

Judea Pearl Wins 'Nobel Prize in Computing'

By Lillian Swanson

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Judea Pearl, father of the slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, has been named winner of what is considered the “Nobel Prize in Computing,” a prestigious honor that also carries a $250,000 award.

The Association for Computing Machinery announced Thursday it would give its 2011 ACM A.M. Turing Award to Pearl, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, for his pioneering work. The association said in a press statement that Pearl’s innovations “enabled remarkable advances in the partnership between humans and machines that is the foundation of Artificial Intelligence.” In particular, his work created a foundation for processing information under uncertain circumstances, and created methods that enable machines to reason about actions and observations and assess cause and effect.

The prize is named for a British mathematician, Alan M. Turing. It will be given to Pearl in June at an ACM conference in San Francisco that will also gather previous prize winners as part of a centenary celebration of Turing.

In February in New York, Pearl delivered the “state of anti-Semitism” lecture, an annual speech sponsored by the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance.


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