Nils John Nilsson Biography | Nils John Nilsson
Nils John Nilsson (February 6, 1933 – April 23, 2019) was an American computer scientist. He was one of the founding researchers in the discipline of artificial intelligence. He was the first Kumagai Professor of Engineering (Emeritus) in Computer Science at Stanford University, position that he held since the chair was established in 1990 until his death.
He is particularly famous for his contributions to search, planning, knowledge representation, and robotics.
His research was based mainly on the premise that intelligence is based on the knowledge that must be represented explicitly.
Nils John Nilsson Age
Respected AI pioneer and visionary Nils John Nilsson passed away early this morning at age 86 years old as of 2019. Born on February 6, 1933, in Saginaw, Michigan, Professor Nilsson was a founding researcher in the field of AI. Died: 23 April 2019
Nils John Nilsson Early life and Education
Nilsson was born in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1933. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1958 and spent much of his career at SRI International, a private research lab spun off from Stanford.
Nils John Nilsson Career
Starting in 1966, Nilsson, along with Charles A. Rosen and Bertram Raphael, led a research team in the construction of Shakey, a robot that constructed a model of its environment from sensor data, reasoned about that environment to arrive at a plan of action, then carried that plan out by sending commands to its motors.
This paradigm has been enormously influential in AI. (Textbooks such as (Charniak & McDermott 1985), (Ginsberg 1993) and the first edition of (Russell & Norvig 1992) show this influence in almost every chapter, although the entire field has not always stayed under its spell.)
Although the basic idea of using logical reasoning to decide on actions is due to John McCarthy (McCarthy), Nilsson’s group was the first to embody it in a complete agent, along the way inventing the A* search algorithm (Hart, Nilsson & Raphael 1968) and founding the field of automated temporal planning.
In the latter pursuit, they invented the STRIPS planner (Fikes & Nilsson 1971), whose action representation is still the basis of many of today’s planning algorithms. The subfield of automated temporal planning called classical planning is based on most of the assumptions built into STRIPS.
In 1985 Nilsson became a faculty member at Stanford University, in the Computer Science Department. He was chair of the department from 1985 to 1990.
He was the fourth President of the AAAI (1982–83) and a Founding Fellow of that organization. Nilsson has written or coauthored several books on AI, including two that have been especially widely read (Nilsson 1980, Genesereth & Nilsson 1987).
Nils John NilssonAwards and memberships
In 2011, Nilsson was inducted into IEEE Intelligent Systems’ AI’s Hall of Fame for the “significant contributions to the field of AI and intelligent systems”.
Nils John Nilsson Personal life
On July 19, 1958, Nilsson married Karen Braucht, with whom he had two children. Braucht died in 1991. In 1992 he married Grace Abbott, who had four children from a previous marriage.
Nilsson died on April 23, 2019, at his home in Medford, Oregon, at the age of 86.
Nils John Nilsson Children | Family | Wife
Married Karen Braucht, July 19, 1958. Children: Kristen, Lars.
- Walter A. Nilsson
- Pauline (Glerum) Nilsson
- Karen Braucht
This snapshot of Karen Braucht’s life was captured by the 1940 U.S. Census.
When Karen Braucht was born about 1937, her father, Ernest, was 42, and her mother, Bernice, was 29. In 1940, she was 3 years old and lived in Merced, California, with her father and mother.
- Lars Nilsson
Lars Nilsson (born 1966 in Stockholm, Sweden) is a fashion designer and fully integrated member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America who has worked with several major fashion houses, including Christian Lacroix, Balmain, Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren, Bill Blass, Nina Ricci and his own menswear line, Mr. Nils.
Lars Nilsson graduated from both Virginska Skolan in Sweden and Paris’ Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture.
Following fashion school, Nilsson held an apprenticeship at the tailoring atelier of Chanel haute couture before joining the fashion house, Christian Lacroix.
He spent nine years there as both Lacroix’s personal assistant and as the senior haute couture designer. He worked directly with Lacroix on a number of books and the production of theatrical pieces.
From 1997 to 1999 Nilsson worked with John Galliano at Christian Dior Couture as Collection Coordinator of both the haute couture studio and the fur collections. Afterward, Nilsson moved to New York to become the Design Director for the Polo Ralph Lauren women’s wear collection.
From 2000 to 2003 he was Creative Director for Bill Blass Collection, designing both womenswear and menswear, and became head designer following Bill Blass’s death in 2002.
Anna Wintour wore one of his dresses to the Vogue Fashion Awards in October 2001, and he was named Designer of the Year 2001 by New York magazine as well as being elected to the International Best-Dressed List by Eleanor Lambert and Vanity Fair.
In 2003 Nilsson returned to Paris, joining Nina Ricci as their Creative Director of fashion, and perfume and cosmetics. He revitalized Nina Ricci to tap into a clientele of “uptown girls” and “the new generation of socialites“ who included Renée Zellweger and Kate Beckinsale.
In 2004 he designed the brand’s first ever resort collection and was able to raise attention for the brand through several international runway shows, trunk shows, and soirées. He also worked on innovative collaborations, such as with the famous corsetier Mr. Pearl.
In 2006 Nilsson was presented with the highest Swedish Fashion Award, the Guldknappen (Swedish for Golden Button).
Nilsson was appointed Creative Director of Gianfranco Ferré following the founder’s sudden death on September 25, 2007. However, he left after less than six months.
Between 2007 and 2008 he worked on establishing his own furniture and textiles collection.
In September 2009 Nilsson started his menswear label Mr. Nils. He showed his first collection as a special guest of Pitti Uomo in Florence, Italy In 2011, his branding efforts were recognized when he was awarded the Graphis Gold Award for Best Advertisement Campaign.
- Kristen Nilsson
Nils John Nilsson Image
Nils John Nilsson Awards and memberships
In 2011, Nilsson was inducted into IEEE Intelligent Systems’ AI’s Hall of Fame for the “significant contributions to the field of AI and intelligent systems”.
Nils John Nilsson Principles of Artificial Intelligence
A classic introduction to artificial intelligence intended to bridge the gap between theory and practice, Principles of Artificial Intelligence describes fundamental AI ideas that underlie applications such as natural language processing, automatic programming, robotics, machine vision, automatic theorem proving, and intelligent data retrieval.
Rather than focusing on the subject matter of the applications, the book is organized around general computational concepts involving the kinds of data structures used, the types of operations performed on the data structures, and the properties of the control strategies used. Read also Alan Krueger
Principles of Artificial Intelligence evolved from the author’s courses and seminars at Stanford University and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is suitable for text use in a senior or graduate AI course, or for individual study.
- Charniak, Eugene; McDermott, Drew (1985), Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley
- Fikes, Richard; Nilsson, Nils (1971), “STRIPS: A new approach to the application of theorem proving to problem-solving”, Artificial Intelligence, 2 (3–4): 189–208, CiteSeerX 10.1.1.78.8292, doi:10.1016/0004-3702(71)90010-5
- Genesereth, Michael; Nilsson, Nils (1987), Logical Foundations of Artificial Intelligence, Los Altos, CA: Morgan Kaufmann
- Ginsberg, Matthew (1993), Essentials of Artificial Intelligence, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc.
- Hart, P. E.; Nilsson, N. J.; Raphael, B. (1968), “A Formal Basis for the Heuristic Determination of Minimum Cost Paths” (PDF), IEEE Transactions on Systems Science and Cybernetics SSC4, 4 (2): 100–107, doi:10.1109/TSSC.1968.300136
- McCarthy, John (1968) , M. Minsky, ed., “Programs with common sense”, Proceedings of the Teddington Conference on the Mechanization of Thought Processes, London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, pp. 403–418
- Nilsson, Nils (2014), Understanding Beliefs, MIT Press.
- Nilsson, Nils (1980), Principles of Artificial Intelligence., Palo Alto: Tioga Publishing Company
- Russell, Stuart; Norvig, Peter (1992), Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (1st ed.), Prentice Hall
Nils John Nilsson Background
Nilsson, Nils John was born on February 6, 1933, in Saginaw, Michigan, United States. Son of Walter A. and Pauline (Glerum) Nilsson.
Nils John Nilsson Net Worth
Respected AI pioneer and visionary Nils John Nilsson Net worth were unknown also his salary was not yet known before he dies.
Nils John Nilsson News
AI Visionary Nils Nilsson Dies
Respected AI pioneer and visionary Nils John Nilsson passed away early this morning at age 86.
Born in Saginaw, Michigan, Professor Nilsson was a founding researcher in the field of AI. Renowned computer science professor Andrew Ng expressed his condolences: “RIP to my friend, colleague, and AI visionary Nils Nilsson. Your work on the A* algorithm has improved countless lives (this is how we find the shortest path from A to B).
I will always remember your work, but even more importantly your kindness.” Many others in the AI community paid tribute to Professor Nilsson on social media. HERE Technologies Principal Research Engineer James Fowe wrote: “Some of us literally earn daily bread on the A* Algorithm. Thank you Nils Nilsson R.I.P.”
Nilsson was the first Kumagai Professor of Engineering (Emeritus) in Computer Science at Stanford University, and his contributions to search, planning, knowledge representation, and robotics have been long respected and broadly applied.
In his twenty-three years with Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Center Nilsson worked on statistical and neural-network approaches to pattern recognition, co-invented the A* heuristic search algorithm and the STRIPS automatic planning system, and co-directed work on the integrated mobile robot, SHAKEY.
From 1985 to 1990, Professor Nilsson was Chairman of the Department of Computer Science at Stanford, where he taught artificial intelligence and machine learning while researching how robots can react to the dynamic world, plan actions accordingly, and learn from experience.
Nilsson also published five AI textbooks: Problem-Solving Methods in Artificial Intelligence (1971), Principles of Artificial Intelligence (1980), Artificial Intelligence: A New Synthesis (1998), The Quest for Artificial Intelligence: A History of Ideas and Achievements (2010), and Understanding Beliefs (2014), which was translated into Chinese and has been widely read by researchers in that country.
In The Quest for Artificial Intelligence: A History of Ideas and Achievements, Professor Nilsson wrote, “Artificial intelligence (AI) may lack an agreed-upon definition… For me, artificial intelligence is that activity devoted to making machines intelligent, and intelligence is that quality that enables an entity to function appropriately and with foresight in its environment.”
Professor Nilsson’s work has been praised worldwide and his important contributions will be remembered across many fields.
Nils Nilsson, a pioneer in robotics and artificial intelligence, dies at 86
A leader in the earliest days of robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, Nilsson led the development of one of the first autonomous robots.
Nils J. Nilsson, the Kumagai Professor of Engineering, Emeritus, in the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University, died April 23 at his home in Medford, Oregon, after a brief stay in hospice. He was 86
Nilsson is best known for his foundational work in robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning dating to the earliest days of the fields.
Nilsson earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Stanford in 1958 and immediately began serving in the U.S. Air Force. After his discharge in 1961, he took a position at Stanford Research Institute, which was then still affiliated with the university.
Nilsson was employed for the next 23 years at SRI, working on neural networks and statistical approaches to robotic problem-solving. He would eventually rise to lead SRI from 1980 to 1984.
In 1985, Nilsson joined the Stanford faculty as chair of the Department of Computer Science, a role in which he served until 1990. It was unusual that an outsider would be brought in as chair of a department, but Nilsson was well known as a lecturer and intellectual force in artificial intelligence.
The year he joined the Computer Science Department, Nilsson was charged with overseeing its historic transition from the School of Humanities and Sciences to the School of Engineering.
His time at Stanford was marked by his continued leadership in the field and a burgeoning international profile. He also mentored many top names in the field during his time on the faculty.
“In the mid-70s, Nils invited me to SRI to work on my Ph.D.,” said Professor Emeritus Jean-Claude Latombe, former department chair and head of the Artificial Intelligence group at Stanford.
“He became my de facto adviser and traveled to Grenoble just to sit on my defense committee. No one had such a great impact on my professional life.”
Between 1966 and 1972, Nilsson co-directed the creation of an autonomous robot known affectionately as SHAKEY, after the way the top-heavy robot would shudder as made its way about in stops and starts.
Directed by a human operator typing in instructions, SHAKEY could negotiate its way around a room filled with large objects using various electrical sensors, a sonar range-finder, and an integrated video camera, all the while communicating wirelessly with a state-of-the-art mainframe computer.
In 1969-70, SHAKEY garnered a certain media celebrity after profiles appeared in the New York Times, National Geographic and Life, which referred to SHAKEY as the “first electronic person.”
Nilsson was noted for helping to design and write the algorithms that helped SHAKEY make decisions and plan the most efficient course, Stanford Research Institute Problem Solver (STRIPS) and A*. The intellectual progeny of those algorithms are still in use today.
Nilsson authored or co-authored at least nine books, including The Quest for Artificial Intelligence: A History of Ideas and Achievements (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and Principles of Artificial Intelligence from Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, a publishing house he co-founded. Nilsson also contributed chapters to numerous other books and published frequently in the scientific press.
He served on the editorial boards of the journal Artificial Intelligence and of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research and as an editor of the Journal of the Association for Computing Machinery.
He was also a president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). Nilsson was also elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.
He was honored with a number of industry awards, including a Neural-Network Pioneer Award from the IEEE, the Research Excellence Award from the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence and the Distinguished Service Award for lifetime achievement from the AAAI.
Colleague and mentor
As respected as he was as an engineer, Nilsson was equally beloved as a colleague and mentor to many. As news spread across the campus of his death, notes of remembrance flowed in.
“Nils was a kind, thoughtful, inspiring person who helped shape the department in a formative era,” remembers John Mitchell, a fellow professor of computer science and current department chair.
“He was unusually supportive of young faculty and always put our collective success ahead of any personal recognition or reward. All of us who knew him will sorely miss him.”
Nils John Nilsson, the oldest of five sons to Walter and Pauline Nilsson, was born Feb. 6, 1933, in Saginaw, Michigan, where he lived until age 11 when his family relocated to Southern California.
He attended high school in Glendale, where he was valedictorian. He then entered Stanford University, where he earned his master’s degree in 1956 and doctorate in 1958. A program at the time allowed him to forgo his bachelor’s degree to work directly to his master’s. He retired in 1995.
He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Grace Abbott, of Medford, Oregon; daughter Kristen Farley of Pasadena, California; son Lars Nilsson of Piedmont, California; Grace’s four sons from a previous marriage and their spouses; as well as 12 grandchildren. He was predeceased by first wife, Karen (Braucht) Nilsson, in 1991.
Memorial donations are requested in his name to Stanford School of Engineering.
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