Martha E. Pollack

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Martha E. Pollack
14th President of Cornell University
Assumed office
April 17, 2017
Preceded by Elizabeth Garrett
Provost of the University of Michigan
In office
Preceded by Philip J. Hanlon
Personal details
Born (1958-08-27) August 27, 1958 (age 59)
Stamford, Connecticut[1]
Spouse(s) Ken Gottschlich
Children Anna, Nicholas
Alma mater Dartmouth College
University of Pennsylvania
Scientific career
Fields Computer science, Artificial intelligence
Thesis Inferring domain plans in question-answering (1986)
Doctoral advisors Bonnie Weber
Barbara J. Grosz

Martha Elizabeth Pollack (born August 27, 1958) is an American computer scientist who is the 14th president of Cornell University, serving since April 2017. Previously, she was the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Michigan.[2][3] Her research specialty is artificial intelligence, where her contributions include works in planning, natural language processing, and activity recognition for cognitive assistance.[2]


Pollack completed her undergraduate studies in linguistics at Dartmouth College, graduating in 1979.[2] She earned master's and doctoral degrees in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania, completing her Ph.D. in 1986 under the joint supervision of Bonnie Weber and Barbara J. Grosz.[2][4][5] Before joining the University of Michigan faculty in 2000, she worked at SRI International from 1985 to 1992, and was on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh from 1991 to 2000. She became dean of the School of Information at Michigan in 2007, Vice Provost in 2010, and Provost in 2013.[2] She has also been program chair of the International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence in 1997,[2][6] editor-in-chief of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research from 2001 to 2005,[2][7] and president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence from 2009 to 2010.[2][8]

Pollack was the winner of the 1991 IJCAI Computers and Thought Award.[2][9] She has been a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence since 1996, and of the Association for Computing Machinery and the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 2012.[2][10][11][12][13]

On November 14, 2016, the Cornell University Board of Trustees announced that they had unanimously elected her as Cornell University’s 14th president, with her presidency beginning on April 17, 2017.[14] Pollack was officially inaugurated on August 25, 2017.[15][16]


  1. ^ Martha Pollack named 14th Cornell president By Matt Steecker and Jeff Platsky, The Ithaca Journal 11:01 a.m. EST November 15, 2016
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Martha E. Pollack, Office of the Provost, University of Michigan, and Curriculum vitae, both retrieved 2015-06-14.
  3. ^ Woodhouse, Kellie (January 30, 2013), "University of Michigan taps vice provost Martha Pollack as school's new chief academic officer", The Ann Arbor News ; Woodhouse, Kellie (January 30, 2013), "New University of Michigan provost considered 'visionary' by peers", The Ann Arbor News .
  4. ^ Martha E. Pollack at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  5. ^ Pollack, Martha Elizabeth (1986). Inferring domain plans in question-answering (theory action, intentions, discourse, common sense reasoning) (Ph.D.). University of Pennsylvania. OCLC 256348876 – via ProQuest. (Subscription required (help)). 
  6. ^ IJCAI-97 Officials, retrieved 2015-06-14.
  7. ^ JAIR History, retrieved 2015-04-16.
  8. ^ Past AAAI Officials, retrieved 2015-06-14.
  9. ^ List of past winners from IJCAI-2015, retrieved 2015-06-14.
  10. ^ AAAI Fellows, retrieved 2015-04-16.
  11. ^ ACM Fellow award citation, retrieved 2015-04-16.
  12. ^ Martha Pollack Named Fellow of AAAS, ACM, EECS, Univ. of Michigan, retrieved 2015-06-14.
  13. ^ AAAS Members Elected as Fellows, AAAS, December 6, 2011, retrieved 2015-06-14.
  14. ^ "Martha E. Pollack, provost at Michigan, named 14th president | Cornell Chronicle". Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  15. ^ Mediak, Gabrielle (25 August 2017). "Thousands attend Cornell University's 14th presidential inauguration". Spectrum News. Retrieved 26 August 2017. 
  16. ^ Butler, Matt (25 August 2017). "Martha Pollack inaugurated as Cornell's newest president". Retrieved 26 August 2017. 
Academic offices
Preceded by
Elizabeth Garrett
President of Cornell University
2017 – present