Raj Reddy To Receive Honorary Degree at CMU Commencement

Tuesday, March 22, 2022 - by Aaron Aupperlee

Raj Reddy, a pioneer in robotics, artificial intelligence and speech recognition, will receive an honorary degree during CMU's 2022 Commencement ceremonies in May.

Raj Reddy, a pioneer in robotics, artificial intelligence and speech recognition, will receive an honorary degree during Carnegie Mellon University's 2022 Commencement ceremonies in May.

Reddy, the Moza Bint Nasser University Professor of Computer Science and Robotics at CMU's School of Computer Science, will be awarded an honorary doctor of science and technology.

"In the long history of groundbreaking achievements that have defined SCS, CMU and computer science over the last 50 years, there is perhaps no innovator more impactful than Raj Reddy. Raj is truly a living legend," said CMU President Farnam Jahanian. "He has also been an inspiration to countless students, alumni and collaborators who have benefited from his wisdom, mentorship and example."

Awarding an honorary degree to a sitting faculty member is a rare occurrence. Herb Simon, another giant in computer science and an A.M. Turing Award winner, is among the few from CMU who have.

Reddy served as the founding director of the Robotics Institute and as the dean of SCS. He co-chaired President Clinton’s Information Technology Advisory Committee from 1999 to 2001. Reddy received the Legion of Honor, Padma Bhushan, Honda Prize, Vannevar Bush Award and the 1994 Turing Award — which he won jointly with Edward Feigenbaum for designing and building large-scale artificial intelligence systems and showing the importance and impact of AI. 

His interests and research touch the core of modern technology, spanning AI, autonomy, natural language processing, robotics, human-computer interaction, innovations in higher education and efforts to bridge the "digital divide," particularly for people in developing nations. Reddy's achievements include developing the first system capable of recognizing continuous speech, initiating CMU's autonomous vehicle program and creating The Universal Digital Library, a free, online digital library that now includes more than 1.5 million volumes and book digitization centers in China, India, Egypt and the United States.

Reddy will be honored alongside an accomplished class of creatives, entrepreneurs, public servants, scholars and technologists including Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award-winning actor, singer, director, composer, author and playwright Billy Porter, a CMU alumnus; Chemistry Nobel Laureate Frances Arnold; and Portugal’s Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education Manuel Heitor. More information about the 2022 Commencement honorees is available on the CMU News website.

For more information, Contact:
Aaron Aupperlee | 412-268-9068 | aaupperlee@cmu.edu