Tuomas Sandholm Named AAAS Fellow

Lifetime Honor Conferred on Four CMU Faculty

Wednesday, January 26, 2022 - by Aaron Aupperlee

Tuomas Sandholm has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Tuomas Sandholm, serial entrepreneur and a professor in Carnegie Mellon University's Computer Science Department, has been elected as a fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science — the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals

Sandholm is the Angel Jordan University Professor of Computer Science at CMU's School of Computer Science, co-director of CMU AI, and the founder and director of the Electronic Marketplaces Laboratory. He joins three CMU colleagues also named AAAS fellows this year: Baruch Fischhoff from the College of Engineering and Dietrich College, Ramayya Krishnan of Heinz College, and Wilfried Sieg of Dietrich College. The 2021 class of AAAS fellows, a lifetime distinction, includes 564 scientists, engineers and innovators in 24 scientific disciplines. 

"AAAS is proud to bestow the honor of AAAS fellow to some of today's brightest minds who are integral to forging our path into the future," said Sudip Parikh, AAAS chief executive officer and executive publisher of the Science family of journals. "We celebrate these distinguished individuals for their invaluable contributions to the scientific enterprise."

AAAS fellows are a distinguished cadre of scientists, engineers and innovators who have been recognized for their important contributions, including pioneering research, leadership within a given field, teaching and mentoring, fostering collaborations, and advancing public understanding of science. Previous recipients include Thomas Edison, Margaret Mead and Grace Hopper.

Sandholm's research focuses on the convergence of artificial intelligence, economics and operations research. He has built optimization-powered electronic marketplaces since 1989 and has used several of those systems in real-world settings.

Sandholm and his students have developed the leading algorithms for several general classes of games, including Heads-Up, No-Limit Texas Hold'em poker. An artificial intelligence they created, named Libratus, became the first AI to beat top humans at the game. It was followed by another AI, Pluribus, that became the first and only AI to best top humans in the game's multiplayer version.

Since 2010, Sandholm's algorithms have run the national kidney exchange for the United Network for Organ Sharing, where they autonomously generate the kidney exchange transplant plan for 80% of U.S. transplant centers each week. He also co-invented never-ending, altruistic, donor-initiated chains, which have become the main method of kidney exchange worldwide and have led to around 10,000 transplants. His work in this area enabled liver lobe and multi-organ exchanges, leading to the first liver-kidney swap in 2019.

In addition to his academic research, Sandholm has created numerous companies. He was the founder, chairman, first CEO and CTO/chief scientist of CombineNet Inc. He also founded and runs Optimized Markets Inc., which brings a new, optimization-powered paradigm to advertising campaign sales, allocation, pricing and scheduling. His most recent companies, of which he's founder and CEO, include Strategic Machine Inc. and Strategic Robot Inc. Both provide solutions for strategic reasoning with imperfect information in a broad set of applications.

Learn more about the 2021 class of fellows on the AAAS website.

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