Biography of Sven Koenig

Always keep in mind...
"The ablest man I ever met is the man you think you are."
(Franklin D. Roosevelt)

Sven Koenig is a professor in computer science at the University of Southern California. He received his Ph.D. degree in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1997 for his dissertation on "Goal-Directed Acting with Incomplete Information." He also holds M.S. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon University. He is a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a distinguished speaker of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and the recipient of an ACM Recognition of Service Award, an NSF CAREER Award, an IBM Faculty Partnership Award, a Charles Lee Powell Foundation Award (which provided USC start-up funding), a Raytheon Faculty Fellowship Award, an IEEE Computer Science and Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Award, a Mellon Mentoring Award, an SAIC Student Advisement Award, the Dean's Award for Innovation in Teaching and Education, five AAAI and one WIC Certificates of Appreciation, a Fulbright Fellowship, and the Tong Leong Lim Pre-Doctoral Prize of the University of California at Berkeley. Sven was also a program director at the National Science Foundation (NSF) from 2010 to 2012, where he received the Director's Award for Collaborative Integration in both 2011 and 2012. Several of his students won awards as well (including best paper, best dissertation, best research assistant, and best teaching assistant awards) and took their first jobs in academia. One of them (Prof. William Yeoh) was selected by IEEE Intelligent Systems as one of the "AI's 10 to Watch" 2015 ("10 young stars in the field of AI," chosen every two years from researchers around the world).

Sven is interested in intelligent systems that have to operate in large, nondeterministic, nonstationary or only partially known domains. Most of his research centers around techniques for decision making (planning and learning) that enable single situated agents (such as robots or decision-support systems) and teams of agents to act intelligently in their environments and exhibit goal-directed behavior in real-time, even if they have only incomplete knowledge of their environment, imperfect abilities to manipulate it, limited or noisy perception or insufficient reasoning speed. He believes that finding good solutions to these problems requires approaches that cut across many different fields and, consequently, his research draws on areas such as artificial intelligence, decision theory, and operations research. Applications of his research include robotics and video games as well as transportation, planetary exploration, supply-chain management, and crisis management (such as oil-spill containment).

Sven has edited several conference proceedings and published more than 200 papers in various areas of artificial intelligence and robotics, including more than 30 papers at AAAI and IJCAI (the two main artificial intelligence conferences), as well as papers in planning (ICAPS and its predecessors AIPS and ECP), agents (AAMAS and its predecessor Autonomous Agents), machine learning (ICML, COLT), numerical artificial intelligence and control (NIPS, UAI, AI and Mathematics), knowledge representation and reasoning (KR, CP), robotics (ICRA, IROS, RSS), games (AIIDE, FDG), and others. He was conference co-chair of the 2002 Symposium on Abstraction, Reformulation, and Approximation (SARA), the 2004 International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS), and the 2009 International Symposium on Combinatorial Search (SoCS). He was program co-chair of the 2005 International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS), the 2007 and 2008 AAAI Nectar programs, the 2015 AAAI Conference, and the 2016 and 2017 Symposia on Educational Advances in AI (EAAI). He is chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence (ACM SIGAI), an editor of AI Magazine (where he helped to start both the "Competition Report" and the "AI in Industry" tracks) and the Communications of the ACM (Research Highlights), and an associate editor of the Artificial Intelligence journal, the Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, and the Journal on Advances in Complex Systems. He was a councilor of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, a member of the advisory board of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (JAIR), an associate editor of Computational Intelligence and JAIR, and a member of the steering committees of ICAPS, SoCS, and SARA. He co-founded both Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS), a highly selective robotics conference, in 2005 and SoCS, the first regular meeting of the search community in artificial intelligence, in 2009.

Sven is passionate about helping students and young researchers to get a good start in their careers. On the high-school level, he repeatedly represented the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) as a judge at ISEF, which brings together over 1,400 high-school students from more than forty nations. On the university level, he often serves as external member on dissertation committees, was three times co-chair of the AAAI student abstract and poster program, often participates as panelist or mentor in doctoral consortia of artificial intelligence conferences, was a member of award committees of major artificial intelligence conferences and journals, and frequently presents tutorials about his research at summer schools and conferences. He co-organized many USC Programming Contests and trained USC students for several Regional ACM Programming Competitions, where they placed 2nd out of 73 teams in 2006 and 1st out of 75 teams in 2012 (and went on to the world finals). At NSF, he helped to manage the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Sites program and initiated the NSF European Extended Lab Visit Program for Graduate Students in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.

Sven has recently also become interested in AI Ethics, not because he has any answers but because he has lots of questions. He was a member of the organizing committees of the AAAI Workshops on Artificial Intelligence and Ethics (and Society) in 2015 and 2016, helped to initiate the ACM SIGAI Student Essay Contest on the Responsible Use of Artificial Intelligence Technologies in 2016, moderated the EAAI Panel on Artificial Intelligence Ethics Education in 2016, co-authored an article in Artificial Intelligence Magazine on Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence Courses in 2017, became a member of the executive committee of the IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems in 2017, and co-founded the AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society.

In his spare time, Sven used to care for more than fifty newts from all over the world. He is also a member of the Academy of Magical Arts at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, but has not yet managed to make all (or even some) of his work disappear. His Erdös number is two .


Short Biographies of Sven Koenig

Here are two biographies that can be used for announcing talks.

Biography 1

Sven Koenig is a professor in computer science at the University of Southern California. Most of his research centers around techniques for decision making (planning and learning) that enable single situated agents (such as robots or decision-support systems) and teams of agents to act intelligently in their environments and exhibit goal-directed behavior in real-time, even if they have only incomplete knowledge of their environment, imperfect abilities to manipulate it, limited or noisy perception or insufficient reasoning speed. Additional information about Sven can be found on his webpages: idm-lab.org.

Biography 2

Sven Koenig is a professor in computer science at the University of Southern California. Most of his research centers around techniques for decision making (planning and learning) that enable single situated agents (such as robots or decision-support systems) and teams of agents to act intelligently in their environments and exhibit goal-directed behavior in real-time, even if they have only incomplete knowledge of their environment, imperfect abilities to manipulate it, limited or noisy perception or insufficient reasoning speed. He co-founded both Robotics: Science and Systems and the International Symposium on Combinatorial Search (SoCS) and was conference or program co-chair of SARA 2002, ICAPS 2004, AAMAS 2005, SoCS 2009, AAAI 2015, and EAAI 2016 and 2017. He is chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence, an editor of AI Magazine and CACM, and an associate editor of AIJ, JAAMAS, and ACS. He was a councilor of AAAI, a member of the advisory board of JAIR, an associate editor of Computational Intelligence, and a member of the steering committees of ICAPS, SoCS, and SARA. Additional information about Sven can be found on his webpages: idm-lab.org.

photo


Home Page of Sven Koenig