Raj Reddy

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Raj Reddy
RR cropped image new.jpg
Dabbala Rajagopal Reddy

(1937-06-13) 13 June 1937 (age 81)
ResidenceUnited States
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materUniversity of Madras
University of New South Wales
Stanford University
Scientific career
FieldsArtificial Intelligence
Human-Computer Interaction
InstitutionsInternational Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad,[1][2]
Carnegie Mellon University
Stanford University
Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies
Doctoral advisorJohn McCarthy
Doctoral studentsJames K. Baker
Janet M. Baker[3]
Kai-Fu Lee[3]
Xuedong Huang
Harry Shum
Hsiao Wuen Hon

Dabbala Rajagopal "Raj" Reddy (born 13 June 1937) is an Indian-American computer scientist and a winner of the Turing Award. He is one of the early pioneers of Artificial Intelligence and has served on the faculty of Stanford and Carnegie Mellon for over 50 years.[4] He was the founding director of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He was instrumental in helping to create Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies in India, to cater to the educational needs of the low-income, gifted, rural youth. He is the chairman of International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad. He is the first person of Asian origin to receive the ACM Turing Award, in 1994, the highest award in computer science, for his work in the field of artificial intelligence.


Raj Reddy was born in Katur, Chittoor district, Madras Presidency, British India. His father, Sreenivasulu Reddy, was a farmer, and his mother, Pitchamma, was a homemaker. He was the first member of his family to attend college. He received his bachelor's degree in civil engineering from College of Engineering, Guindy, then affiliated to the University of Madras (now to Anna University, Chennai), India, in 1958.[5] Reddy then moved to Australia, where he received a master's degree in technology from the University of New South Wales, Australia, in 1960. He received a doctorate degree in computer science from Stanford University in 1966.

He started his academic career as an assistant professor at Stanford in 1966. He joined Carnegie Mellon University faculty in 1969. He was the founding director of the Robotics Institute at the University from 1979 to 1991.

He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife of 50 years and they have two daughters (Shyamala and Geetha) and two grand sons (Nikhil and August), who live on the West Coast.


Reddy is the University Professor of Computer Science and Robotics and Moza Bint Nasser Chair at the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. From 1960, he worked for IBM in Australia.[4] He was an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University from 1966 to 1969.[6] He joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty as an associate professor of Computer Science in 1969. He became a full professor in 1973 and a university professor, in 1984.[7]

He was the founding director of the Robotics Institute[8] from 1979[9] to 1991[10] and the Dean of School of Computer Science from 1991 to 1999. As a dean of SCS, he helped create the Language Technologies Institute, Human Computer Interaction Institute, Center for Automated Learning and Discovery (since renamed as the Machine Learning Department), and the Institute for Software Research. He is the chairman of Governing Council of IIIT Hyderabad.[11]

Reddy was a co-chair[12] of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) from 1999 to 2001.[13] He was one of the founders of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence[14] and was its President from 1987 to 1989.[15] He served on the International board of governors of Peres Center for Peace in Israel.[16] He served as a member of the governing councils of EMRI[17] and HMRI[18] which use technology-enabled solutions to provide cost-effective health care coverage to rural population in India.

He was instrumental in helping to create Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies in India, to cater to the educational needs of the low-income, gifted, rural youth.


Reddy's early research was conducted at the AI labs at Stanford, first as a graduate student and later as an Assistant Professor, and at CMU since 1969.[5] His AI research concentrated on perceptual and motor aspect of intelligence such as speech, language, vision and robotics. Over a span of five decades, Reddy and his colleagues created several historic demonstrations of spoken language systems, e.g., voice control of a robot,[19] large vocabulary connected speech recognition,[20][21] speaker independent speech recognition,[22] and unrestricted vocabulary dictation.[23] Reddy and his colleagues have made seminal contributions to Task Oriented Computer Architectures,[24] Analysis of Natural Scenes,[25] Universal Access to Information,[26] and Autonomous Robotic Systems.[27] Hearsay I was one of the first systems capable of continuous speech recognition. Subsequent systems like Hearsay II, Dragon, Harpy, and Sphinx I/II developed many of the ideas underlying modern commercial speech recognition technology as summarized in his recent historical review of speech recognition with Xuedong Huang and James K. Baker.[28]

Some of these ideas—most notably the "blackboard model" for coordinating multiple knowledge sources—have been adopted across the spectrum of applied artificial intelligence. His other major research interest has been in exploring the role of "Technology in Service of Society".[27] An early attempt in this area was the establishment, in 1981, of the Centre Mondial Informatique et Ressource Humaine [fr] in France by Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber and a technical team of Nicholas Negroponte, Alan Kay, Seymour Papert and Terry Winograd. Reddy served as the Chief Scientist for the center.[29]

Since 1995, Reddy and colleagues in China and India have worked on "Universal Digital Library Project".[26] The project is currently attempting to archive 1,000 newspapers for the next 1,000 years and provide online access to UNESCO heritage sites.[citation needed]

His current research centers around "Technology in Service of Society", in particular creating voice only dialog based Apps for tasks such as online shopping and banking, Cognition Amplifiers and Guardian Angels, Digital Democracy, Universal Digital Archive, Voice Computing for the 3B semi-literate populations at the bottom of the pyramid, and KG to PG Micro-Universities.[citation needed]

Awards and honors[edit]

His awards and recognitions include the following:

  • He is a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, IEEE and AAAI.
  • Reddy is a member[10] of the United States National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Chinese Academy of Engineering, Indian National Science Academy, and Indian National Academy of Engineering.
  • He has been awarded honorary doctorates (Doctor Honoris Causa) from SV University, Universite Henri-Poincare, University of New South Wales,[30] Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, University of Massachusetts,[31] University of Warwick,[32] Anna University, IIIT (Allahabad), Andhra University, IIT Kharagpur[33] and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.[34]
  • In 1994 he and Edward Feigenbaum received the ACM Turing Award "For pioneering the design and construction of large scale artificial intelligence systems, demonstrating the practical importance and potential commercial impact of artificial intelligence technology".[35]
  • In 1984, Reddy was awarded the French Legion of Honour by French President François Mitterrand for his contributions as Chief Scientist at "Centre Mondial Informatique" in Paris in the use of "Technology in Service of Society".[29]
  • In 2001, Reddy was awarded Padma Bhushan, an award given by the Indian government that recognizes distinguished service of a high order to the nation.[36]
  • In 2004, Reddy received the Okawa Prize for pioneering researches of large-scale artificial intelligence system, human-computer interaction and Internet, and outstanding contributions to information and telecommunications policy and nurture of many human resources.[37]
  • He received the 2005 IJCAI Donald E. Walker Distinguished Service Award For, "His outstanding service to the AI community as President of AAAI, Conference Chair of IJCAI-79, and his leadership and promotion of AI internationally". He received the IBM Research Ralph Gomory Visiting Scholar Award in 1991.
  • In 2005, Reddy received the Honda Prize for his pioneering role in robotics and computer science which are expected to be used in the future society for a broad range of applications including education, medicine, healthcare, and disaster relief.[38]
  • In 2006 he received the Vannevar Bush Award, the highest Award of National Science Foundation in United States, for his lifetime contribution to science and long-standing statesmanship in science and behalf of the nation.[39]
  • In 2008, Reddy received the IEEE James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award, "for leadership and pioneering contributions to speech recognition, natural language understanding, and machine intelligence".[40]
  • In 2011, Reddy was inducted into IEEE Intelligent Systems' AI's Hall of Fame for the "significant contributions to the field of AI and intelligent systems".[41][42]


  • Machine Intelligence and Robotics: Report of the NASA Study Group — Executive Summary,[43] Final Report[44] Carl Sagan (chair), Raj Reddy (vice chair) and others, NASA JPL, September 1979
  • Foundations and Grand Challenges of Artificial Intelligence, AAAI Presidential Address, 1988.[15]
  • To Dream the Possible Dream, Turing Award Lecture presented at ACM CS Conference, 1 March 1995[45]
  • He contributed to the Million Books project as part of Digital Library of India.[46]


  • Kai-Fu Lee's 2018 bestseller 'AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order' is dedicated "To Raj Reddy, my mentor in AI and in life"


  1. ^ Cerf's curriculum vitae as of February 2001, attached to a transcript of his testimony that month before the United States House Energy Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, from ICANN's website
  2. ^ "Governing Council | IIT Hyderabad".
  3. ^ a b "CMU Computer Science Ph.D. Awards by Advisor". Carnegie Mellon. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  4. ^ a b "CMU's Raj Reddy fills lives with big questions". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 15 June 1998. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  5. ^ a b "CMU-Software Engineering-Faculty-Raj Reddy". Carnegie Mellon. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  6. ^ "Stanford Faculty List". Stanford.
  7. ^ "CS50: FIFTY YEARS OF COMPUTER SCIENCE". Carnegie Mellon. Archived from the original on 15 June 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  8. ^ "History of the Robotics Institute". Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon. Archived from the original on 27 June 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  9. ^ "Robotics Institute Founders". Carnegie Mellon University Article Dec. 2004, Vol. 1, No. 4. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
  10. ^ a b "Raj Reddy". rr.cs.cmu.edu. Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  11. ^ "Governing Council of International Institute of Information Technology". IIIT. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  12. ^ "Draft Minutes of PITAC". Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD). Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  13. ^ "Former PITAC Members (1997–2001)". Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD). Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  14. ^ "Origins of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence". AI Magazine. 26 (4): 5–12.
  15. ^ a b "Foundations and Grand Challenges of Artificial Intelligence". AI Magazine. 9 (4): 9–21.
  16. ^ "International Board of Governors of the Peres Center for Peace". Peres Center. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011.
  17. ^ "Emergency Management and Research Institute - GVK EMRI". www.emri.in.
  18. ^ http://www.hmri.in/gov-brd.aspx Archived 21 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "HearHere Video". CMU. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  20. ^ "Hearsay Video". CMU. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  21. ^ "Harpy Video". CMU. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  22. ^ Lee; Hon & Reddy (1990). "An Overview of the Sphinx Speech Recognition System". IEEE Trans on ASSP. 38 (1): 35–44. CiteSeerX doi:10.1109/29.45616.
  23. ^ Introduction to Xuedong Huang; Alejandro Acero; Alex Acero; Hsiao-Wuen Hon (2001). Spoken language processing. Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-022616-7.
  24. ^ Bisiani; Mauersberg & Reddy (1983). "Task-Oriented Architectures". Proc. IEEE. 71 (7): 885–898. doi:10.1109/PROC.1983.12685.
  25. ^ Ohlander; Price; Reddy (1978). "Picture Segmentation Using a Recursive Region Splitting Method". Computer Graphics and Image Processing. 8 (3): 313–333. doi:10.1016/0146-664X(78)90060-6.
  26. ^ a b "Electrifying Knowledge The Story of the Universal Digital Library_Pittsburgh Quarterly_Summer 2009 by Tom Imerito". CMU. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  27. ^ a b Reddy, R. (2006). "Robotics and Intelligent Systems in Support of Society". IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Systems. 21 (3): 24–31. CiteSeerX doi:10.1109/MIS.2006.57.
  28. ^ Reddy, Xuedong Huang, James Baker, Raj. "A Historical Perspective of Speech Recognition". cacm.acm.org.
  29. ^ a b "NNDB Listing". NNDB. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  30. ^ "Honorary Degrees". University of New South Wales. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  31. ^ "Honorary Degree". University of Massachusetts. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  32. ^ "Honorary Graduates and Chancellor's Medallists". University of Warwick. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  33. ^ "Honoris Causa Awardees". IIT-kgp. Archived from the original on 16 October 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  34. ^ "HKUST to Confer Honorary Doctorates on Eminent Academics and Leaders". Press Release. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  35. ^ "ACM Award Citation / Raj Reddy". awards.acm.org. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  36. ^ "Padma Bhushan Awardees — Padma Awards". india.gov.in. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  37. ^ "The Winners of the Okawa Prize". Okawa Foundation. Archived from the original on 12 June 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  38. ^ "Honda Prize 2005". Honda Foundation. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
  39. ^ "National Science Board — Honorary Awards — Vannevar Bush Award Recipients". nsf.gov. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  40. ^ "Speech Pioneer to Be Honored by IEEE". Speech Technology Magazine. 21 March 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
  41. ^ "AI's Hall of Fame" (PDF). IEEE Intelligent Systems. 26 (4): 5–15. 2011. doi:10.1109/MIS.2011.64.
  42. ^ "IEEE Computer Society Magazine Honors Artificial Intelligence Leaders". DigitalJournal.com. 24 August 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011. Press release source: PRWeb (Vocus).
  43. ^ Machine Intelligence and Robotics_Executive Summary (PDF). Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  44. ^ Machine Intelligence and Robotics: Report of the NASA Study Group (PDF). Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  45. ^ Reddy, Raj (May 1996). "To Dream the Possible Dream" (PDF). Communications of the ACM. 39 (5): 105–112. doi:10.1145/229459.233436. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 July 2015.
  46. ^ Malamud, Carl; Pitroda, Sam. Code Swaraj (PDF). Public.Resource.Org. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-892628-05-3. Retrieved 3 January 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Raj Reddy at Wikimedia Commons