Two ISI Division Directors Named ACM Fellows for Transformative Contributions to Technology

December 23, 2017

ISI division directors Carl Kesselman and Craig Knoblock have been named 2017 Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) Fellows for their “landmark contributions to computing.” Kesselman and Knoblock were among the top one percent of ACM members worldwide honored this year for their outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology.

“We are delighted that the Association for Computer Machinery has recognized Dr. Knoblock and Dr. Kesselman for their outstanding contributions to the world of computing,” says Prem Natarajan, the Michael Keston executive director of ISI.

“On behalf of everyone at ISI, I congratulate them both for receiving this distinguished honor.”

Carl Kesselman is the director of ISI’s Informatics Systems Research division, an ISI Fellow, a Dean’s professor in the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, and a professor in the Department of Computer Science at USC Viterbi and the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine. He was recognized for his “contributions to high-performance computing, distributed systems, and scientific data management.”

Kesselman’s research focuses on developing large-scale information systems that accelerate discovery in areas of societal importance, such as biomedical science.  He is a founder and pioneer of grid computing, which has played an important role in several significant scientific breakthroughs, including the discovery of the Higgs boson and gravitational waves.

A fellow of the British Computing Society, in 2002, Kesselman received the British Computer Society’s Lovelace Medal, presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the understanding or advancement of computing. In 2006, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Amsterdam. His publications have received more than 11,000 citations since 2012, and more than 69,000 citations overall.

Craig Knoblock is the director of ISI’s Intelligent Systems division, a research professor in the Department of Computer Science at USC Viterbi, and a research professor at the Spatial Sciences Institute at USC Dornsife. He was selected for “contributions to artificial intelligence, semantic web, and semantic data integration.”

Knoblock specializes in designing methods for information extraction and integration, including the use of machine learning, data mining and data integration to solve real-world problems. Recent research efforts include a cloud-based indexing, search and analysis system called DIG (Domain-specific Insight Graphs), created for DARPA’s MEMEX program, which is helping law enforcement agencies fight human trafficking.

His current research interests include mining online sources to predict cyber attacks, extracting geographic features from historical maps, and creating linked data for American art museums. He is a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), a Distinguished Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), past President and Trustee of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI). In 2014, he received the Robert S. Engelmore Memorial Lecture Award, presented to exceptional individuals in the artificial intelligence community.

This year, ACM’s 54 new fellows were named for their distinctive contributions to computer science disciplines, spanning such areas as graphics, vision, software design, algorithms, and theory.

In a press release, ACM President Vicki L. Hanson said: “The Fellows program allows us to shine a light on landmark contributions to computing, as well as the men and women whose tireless efforts, dedication, and inspiration are responsible for groundbreaking work that improves our lives in so many ways.”

 ACM will formally recognize its 2017 Fellows at the annual Awards Banquet, to be held in San Francisco on June 23, 2018.