Thursday 17 Jan 2019
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Professor Robert Kowalski

Bob Kowalski was born in 1941 in Bridgeport Connecticut, USA. After a year at the University of Chicago, he completed a BA in Mathematics at the University of Bridgeport, an MSc in Mathematics at Stanford University and a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Edinburgh in 1970. While at Stanford, he was an exchange student at the University of Warsaw, and between Stanford and Edinburgh, he taught for a year at the InterAmerican University in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Robert�s PhD research was in the field of Automated Theorem Proving. This led to his work with Pat Hayes on semantic trees, with Donald Kuehner on SL resolution and his own work on the connection graph proof procedure. In 1971 and 1972, he collaborated with Alain Colmerauer in Marseille on the development of logic programming.

In 1975, Bob moved from a research position at the University of Edinburgh to a Readership at Imperial College, London. He published his book, Logic for Problem Solving in 1979, and developed teaching materials on logic for children. His technical work, during this period, included contributions with Ken Bowen to metalogic programming, with Fariba Sadri to integrity checking in deductive databases, and with Marek Sergot on legal reasoning and the event calculus. More recently, he contributed to the development of abductive logic programming and argumentation in default reasoning with Kave Eshghi, Phan Minh Dung and Francesca Toni. His most recent work has been with Fariba Sadri, on logical agents.

Bob was appointed Professor of Computational Logic in 1983. During the 1980s, he was heavily involved in the British response to the Japanese Fifth Generation Project. At its peak in 1987, the Logic Programming Group, which he headed at the time, numbered approximately 50 researchers and support staff. He also served as an advisor to the UNDP Knowledge Based Systems Project in India and to DFKI, the German Institute for Artificial Intelligence. He co-ordinated the European Community Basic Research Project, Compulog, and was the founder of the European Compulog Network of Excellence. He served as the Head of the Department of Computing at Imperial College from 1997 to 1999, after which he was appointed ProfessorEmeritus and Senior Research Fellow. His current research focuses on the application of Computational Logic to Cognitive Science.