Female AI Scientist Elected as Cornell University New President

Martha E. Pollack, previously a provost and executive president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan was named as the 14th president of Cornell University, succeeding the late President Elizabeth Garrett.

President Pollack is a computer scientist with research expertise in artificial intelligence. She first explored this topic as an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, earning her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in 1979 with a self-designed interdisciplinary major in linguistics. 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 United States Senate Subcommittee on Aging in 2004.

President 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. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Intel, DARPA, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

In addition to receiving numerous awards for her research,she have been honored for her professional service, for example, with the University of Michigan’s Sarah Goddard Power Award for her efforts to increase the representation of and improve the climate for women and underrepresented minorities in science and engineering, and the Michigan ACE Distinguished Women in Higher Education Leadership Award.

She has 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.