Date Posted: 5/18/2022

By Tom Fleischman for the Cornell Chronicle

President Martha E. Pollack has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the academy announced April 28. She is among 261 new members of the American Academy, continuing a tradition of recognizing accomplishments and leadership in academia, the arts, industry, public policy and research.

“We are celebrating a depth of achievements in a breadth of areas,” said David Oxtoby, president of the American Academy. “These individuals excel in ways that excite us and inspire us at a time when recognizing excellence, commending expertise and working toward the common good is absolutely essential to realizing a better future.”

Pollack’s research focuses on natural-language processing, automated planning and the design of assistive technology for people with cognitive impairment.

“Leading Cornell is a true privilege and I am extremely honored by the American Academy recognition of my contribution,” Pollack said.

Pollack earned a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from Dartmouth College in 1979, and her master’s (1984) and Ph.D. (1986) in computer and information science from the University of Pennsylvania, writing her doctoral dissertation on natural-language processing by computers.

After receiving her Ph.D., Pollack conducted research and published widely on automated planning, temporal reasoning and constraint satisfaction. A particular focus of her work has been the design of intelligent technology to assist people with cognitive impairment, a topic on which she testified before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Aging in 2004.

Before arriving at Cornell in 2017, she was provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan, where she was also professor of computer science and information. At Cornell, she is professor of computer science and information science in the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science.

The recipient of numerous awards and honors for her scholarship and leadership, Pollack has also served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research; as president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence; as a member of the Advisory Committee for the National Science Foundation’s Computer and Information Science and Engineering Division; and as a member of the board of directors of the Computing Research Association.

Pollack is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the Association for Computing Machinery; and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

A version of this article first appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.