Raj Reddy

Raj Reddy
Born Dabbala Rajagopal Reddy
(1937-06-13) June 13, 1937
Katur, Chittoor district, Madras Presidency, British India
Residence United States
Nationality American
Citizenship US citizen
Alma mater College of Engineering, Guindy
University of New South Wales
Stanford University
Awards Legion of Honor (1984)
Turing Award (1994)
Padma Bhushan (2001)
Vannevar Bush Award (2006)
Scientific career
Fields Artificial Intelligence
Human-Computer Interaction
Institutions International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad,[1][2] Carnegie Mellon University
Stanford University
Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies
Doctoral advisor John McCarthy
Doctoral students James K. Baker
Janet M. Baker[3]
Kai-Fu Lee[3]
Xuedong Huang
Harry Shum

Dabbala Rajagopal "Raj" Reddy (born June 13, 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 40 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 of the University of Madras (now 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, who live on the West Coast.


Reddy is the Moza Bint Nasser University Professor of Computer Science and Robotics in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. From 1960, Reddy 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] and he is the Chancellor and the chairman of the Governing Council of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies, India.[12]

Reddy was a co-chair[13] of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) from 1999 to 2001.[14] He was one of the founders of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence[15] and was its President from 1987 to 1989.[16] He serves on the International board of governors of Peres Center for Peace in Israel.[17] He served as a member of the governing councils of EMRI[18] and HMRI[19] 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. He is the chairman of International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad.


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,[20] large vocabulary connected speech recognition,[21][22] speaker independent speech recognition,[23] and unrestricted vocabulary dictation.[24] Reddy and his colleagues have made seminal contributions to Task Oriented Computer Architectures,[25] Analysis of Natural Scenes,[26] Universal Access to Information,[27] and Autonomous Robotic Systems.[28] 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.[29]

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".[28] An early attempt in this area was the establishment, in 1981, of the Centre Mondial Informatique et Ressource Humaine 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.[30]

Since 1995, Reddy and colleagues in China and India have worked on "Universal Digital Library Project".[27] The project is currently attempting to archive 1,000 newspapers for the next 1,000 years and provide online access to UNESCO heritage sites.

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.

Awards and honors

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,[31] Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, University of Massachusetts,[32] University of Warwick,[33] Anna University, Indian Institute for Information Technology (Allahabad), Andhra University, IIT Kharagpur[34] and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.[35]
  • 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".[36]
  • 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".[30]
  • 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.[37]
  • 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.[38]
  • 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.[39]
  • 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.[40]
  • 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".[41]
  • 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".[42][43]


  • Machine Intelligence and Robotics: Report of the NASA Study Group — Executive Summary,[44] Final Report[45] Carl Sagan (chair), Raj Reddy (vice chair) and others, NASA JPL, September 1979
  • Foundations and Grand Challenges of Artificial Intelligence, AAAI Presidential Address, 1988.[16]
  • To Dream the Possible Dream, Turing Award Lecture presented at ACM CS Conference, March 1, 1995[46]


  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. 1 2 "CMU Computer Science Ph.D. Awards by Advisor". Carnegie Mellon. Retrieved August 3, 2011.
  4. 1 2 "CMU's Raj Reddy fills lives with big questions". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. June 15, 1998. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  5. 1 2 "CMU-Software Engineering-Faculty-Raj Reddy". Carnegie Mellon. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  6. "Stanford Faculty List". Stanford.
  7. "CS50: FIFTY YEARS OF COMPUTER SCIENCE". Carnegie Mellon. Archived from the original on June 15, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  8. "History of the Robotics Institute". Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon. Archived from the original on June 27, 2015. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  9. "Robotics Institute Founders". Carnegie Mellon University Article Dec. 2004, Vol. 1, No. 4. Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  10. 1 2 "Raj Reddy". rr.cs.cmu.edu. Archived from the original on July 9, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  11. "Governing Council of International Institute of Information Technology". IIIT. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  12. "Governing Council of Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technoloiges". RGUKT. Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  13. "Draft Minutes of PITAC". Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD). Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  14. "Former PITAC Members (1997–2001)". Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD). Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  15. "Origins of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence". AAAI Magazine. 26 (4): 5–12.
  16. 1 2 "Foundations and Grand Challenges of Artificial Intelligence". AAAI Magazine. 9 (4): 9–21.
  17. "International Board of Governors of the Peres Center for Peace". Peres Center. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011.
  18. GVK EMRI – GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute – Governing Board
  19. http://www.hmri.in/gov-brd.aspx Archived July 21, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  20. "HearHere Video". CMU. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  21. "Hearsay Video". CMU. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  22. "Harpy Video". CMU. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  23. Lee; Hon & Reddy (1990). "An Overview of the Sphinx Speech Recognition System". IEEE Trans on ASSP. 38 (1): 35–44. doi:10.1109/29.45616.
  24. Introduction to Xuedong Huang; Alejandro Acero; Alex Acero; Hsiao-Wuen Hon (2001). Spoken language processing. Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-022616-5.
  25. Bisiani; Mauersberg & Reddy. "Task-Oriented Architectures". Proc. IEEE. 71 (7): 885–898. doi:10.1109/PROC.1983.12685.
  26. 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.
  27. 1 2 "Electrifying Knowledge The Story of the Universal Digital Library_Pittsburgh Quarterly_Summer 2009 by Tom Imerito". CMU. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
  28. 1 2 "Robotics and Intelligent Systems in Support of Society". IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Systems. 21 (3): 24–31. 2006. doi:10.1109/MIS.2006.57.
  29. http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2014/1/170863-a-historical-perspective-of-speech-recognition/fulltext
  30. 1 2 "NNDB Listing". NNDB. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  31. "Honorary Degrees". University of New South Wales. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  32. "Honorary Degree". University of Massachusetts. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  33. "Honorary Graduates and Chancellor's Medallists". University of Warwick. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  34. "Honoris Causa Awardees". IIT-kgp. Archived from the original on October 16, 2011. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  35. "HKUST to Confer Honorary Doctorates on Eminent Academics and Leaders". Press Release. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  36. "ACM Award Citation / Raj Reddy". awards.acm.org. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  37. "Padma Bhushan Awardees — Padma Awards". india.gov.in. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  38. "The Winners of the Okawa Prize". Okawa Foundation. Archived from the original on June 12, 2008. Retrieved August 3, 2011.
  39. "Honda Prize 2005". Honda Foundation. Archived from the original on August 3, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2011.
  40. "National Science Board — Honorary Awards — Vannevar Bush Award Recipients". nsf.gov. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  41. "Speech Pioneer to Be Honored by IEEE". Speech Technology Magazine. March 21, 2008. Retrieved December 14, 2009.
  42. "AI's Hall of Fame" (PDF). IEEE Intelligent Systems. IEEE Computer Society. 26 (4): 5–15. 2011. doi:10.1109/MIS.2011.64.
  43. "IEEE Computer Society Magazine Honors Artificial Intelligence Leaders". DigitalJournal.com. August 24, 2011. Retrieved September 18, 2011. Press release source: PRWeb (Vocus).
  44. Machine Intelligence and Robotics_Executive Summary (PDF). Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  45. Machine Intelligence and Robotics: Report of the NASA Study Group (PDF). Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  46. "To Dream the Possible Dream" (PDF). Communications of the ACM. 39 (5): 105–112. May 1996. doi:10.1145/229459.233436. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 20, 2015.
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