78 AI MAGAZINE
AAAI Fellow and AAAI past-president Daniel G. Bobrow was born in 1935 in New York City. He attended the Bronx School of Science along with
his close friend Bert Raphael, another AI luminary. From
the beginning, Danny, as he was known, was a deeply
intuitive thinker who would arrive at the conclusion to a
problem or assignment before anyone else. Bert reports
that when Danny and he did their college work together,
Danny would leap to the correct answer, and Bert was left
filling in the steps. This pattern repeated itself often over
Danny’s long career with many of his collaborators.
Danny completed his Ph.D. dissertation in 1964 at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he
published a thesis entitled Natural Language Input for a
Computer Problem Solving System under Marvin Minsky. The thesis described STUDENT, a revolutionary program that could solve algebra word problems stated in
English as found in high-school algebra textbooks. Danny’s was one the first theses on natural language understanding — a topic that would remain a central interest
of his throughout his long career. He also was one of the
first students at what would later become the MIT AI Lab.
The technical report describing his thesis was the first in
a series of illustrious research results: Project MAC technical report: MAC-TR- 1.
After graduating, Danny became an assistant professor
at MIT for a year before moving in 1965 to nearby BBN
Copyright © 2017, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. All rights reserved. ISSN 0738-4602
Daniel G. Bobrow
Johan de Kleer
; Daniel G. Bobrow (1935–2017) was
a research fellow at Xerox’s Palo Alto
Research Center and an early AI pioneer.
Bobrow served as AAAI president from
1989–1991 and was a Fellow of AAAI
and the Association of Computing
Machinery (ACM). Prior to joining
PARC, Bobrow was a vice president at
BBN Laboratories, where we worked
from 1965–1972. He won the ACM
SIGOPS Hall of Fame Award for his contributions to the operating system
TENEX. He also won the ACM Software
System Award for his contributions to
Interlisp. A celebration of his life was
held on June 5 at the Palo Alto Research
Center in Palo Alto, California.