USA - 1998
For his wide-ranging contributions to Artificial Intelligence, especially in advancing our understanding of the role of representation in problem solving, and of the theory and practice of computational planning and design of complex engineering systems.
Saul Amarel's contributions to computer science and artificial intelligence extend over nearly the whole lives of these domains, since the 1950's. He was one of the first to demonstrate the power of change in representation as a fundamental method in problem solving; his earliest, and memorable, example being a geometric isomorph of the well-known Missionaries and Cannibals problem.
Dr. Amarel organized the Computer Theory Group in the RCA Laboratories, and led it from 1958 to 1969. He then joined Rutgers University as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Computer Science, chairing the Department until 1984. In 1971 he organized the Rutgers Research Resource on Computers in Biomedicine, and in 1977, the Laboratory for Computer Science Research, both of which he directed until 1984. In recent years his problem-solving research has focused on the role of computers in the design of large engineering systems. He is Principal Investigator and Director of the Hypercomputing and Design (HPCD) project, a large- scale multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional research project, sponsored by DARPA as part of the national HPCC Initiative.
In the range of his contributions and their excellence, his commitment to bringing theory together with experimental development and testing of large systems, and in his contributions to the computer science profession, Saul Amarel exemplifies in his life and work the values, held dear by Allen Newell, that the Award bearing his name champions.