Biography Biography Allen Newell Collection

Herbert Simon and Allen Newell      Allen Newell, the U.A. and Helen Whitaker professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University (b. San Francisco 1927 - d. Pittsburgh 1992). Newell had an imaginative 42-year career in artificial intelligence and cognitive science.
     Newell received a bachelor's degree in physics from Stanford in 1949. He attended Princeton for a year in mathematics and then worked for the Rand Corporation from 1950-1961. While at Rand, he met Herbert A. Simon, then a professor of industrial administration at Carnegie Institute of Technology (CIT). Their discussions on how human thinking could be modeled led Newell to come to Pittsburgh.
     Newell earned a Ph.D. in industrial administration from CIT in 1957 and joined the CIT faculty as a professor in 1961. He played a pivotal role in creating Carnegie Mellon's Department of Computer Science, as well as elevating it to world-class status.
     Newell wrote and co-authored more than 250 publications, including 10 books. His final book, Unified Theories of Cognition was based on the thesis that tools are at hand that will allow cognitive scientists to develop one unified theory to describe many different types of behavior, instead of building separate theories to cover isolated aspects, as has long been the practice. A system based on a unified theory could support the full range of intelligent behaviors.


Several excellent biographies and tributes have been written about of Allen Newell's life. Each one listed below was authored by people who had been fortunate to work closely with him over the years.


Those who knew Newell well have pointed to these sources to better understand him:


Gabrielle V. Michalek, Head of Archives/Digital Library Initiatives
November 1, 2000 -- http://diva.library.cmu.edu/Newell/biography.html

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