Ronald Loui

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Ronald Prescott Loui is an American computer scientist and philosopher identified as "Frederick" in U.S. President Barack Obama's Dreams From My Father memoir, the first classmate the ten-year-old Obama meets at Punahou School.[1][2][3] Loui appears in Obama biographies, national and international newspaper articles,[4][5][6] in online columns, in a film documentary,[7] on NPR and on Fox TV news.[8] In cartoon form, he appears as Obama's childhood sidekick in the comic biography by Jeff Mariotte. Loui is the first friend named and quoted by Obama in his memoir. In a radio interview, Loui explained that his brother Terrence was really the first person who welcomed Obama and his grandfather to Punahou (so the character in the memoir is a composite of two people).[9]


Loui was a leading innovator in logic-based artificial intelligence and a leading advocate of defeasible reasoning and scripting languages.[10][11][12]

He was co-patentor of a deep packet inspection hardware device that could read and edit the contents of packets as they stream through a network. This was a key technology sought by the DARPA Information Awareness Office and Disruptive Technology Office.[13] Loui also consulted on Cyc, a famous Artificial Intelligence program devised by Doug Lenat.

Loui organized the first Harvard internet alumni club and built a citation-based search engine (for legal opinions) in the early 1990s.[14]

A graduate of Harvard with a senior thesis that shared the ACM national prize for best undergraduate paper in computing,[15][16] he earned his Ph.D. under Henry E. Kyburg, and spent postdoctoral time at Stanford under Patrick Suppes and Amos Tversky.[14]

Professor Loui supervised students in a model National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates program that included several current professors of computing, and the author of the original Google search engine.


  1. ^ Yes We Can: A biography of President Barack Obama by Garen Thomas
  2. ^ Telling Tales From President Obama's High School Days
  3. ^ “I Know Obama” Anecdote #3
  4. ^ Matt Roper. "Barack Obama exclusive: Where are his school classmates now?". Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  5. ^ Cardwell, Jewell (December 12, 2008). " – Cardwell: Schoolmates in N.E. Ohio recall Obama as class act". Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Barry Obama e la classe del '72 – Corriere della Sera". Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  7. ^ Gloria Borland trailer for Obama: Made in Hawaii, see
  8. ^ 10/5/2007 Betsey Bruce interview.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Dueling Software – Computers That Argue". June 28, 2001. Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Handbook of Philosophical Logic 2 – Logics for Defeasible Argumentation – Prakken&Vreeswijk". October 16, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  12. ^ "June 2005 Archives". Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Methods, systems, and devices using reprogrammable hardware for high-speed processing of streaming data to find a redefinable pattern and respond thereto – US Patent 7093023 Abstract". Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b "Professor Loui's Home Page at Washington University in St. Louis". Retrieved February 23, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Computer implemented method for finding optimal path from source to destination – Patent EP1895720". August 21, 2007. Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  16. ^ with Jeff Eppinger,

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