Professor Victor Lesser

Lesser photo
Victor R. Lesser
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
and Founding Director, Multi-Agent Systems Laboratory
School of Computer Science
140 Governor's Drive
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003

Victor R. Lesser received his B.A. in Mathematics from Cornell University in 1966, and the Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1973. He then was a post-doc/research scientist at Carnegie-Mellon University, working on the Hearsay-II speech understanding system. He was a professor in the School of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 1977 until 2011. He ended his directorship of the Multi-Agent Systems Laboratory with its closing in 2014.

Professor Lesser is a reknowned researcher in multi-agent and blackboard systems. His major research focus was on the control and organization of complex AI systems. He also made contributions to real-time AI, computer architecture, signal understanding, diagnostics, plan recognition, and computer-supported cooperative work. He worked on applications in sensor networks for vehicle tracking and weather monitoring, speech and sound understanding, information gathering on the internet, peer-to-peer information retrieval, intelligent user interfaces, distributed task allocation and scheduling, and virtual agent enterprises.

Professor Lesser is a Founding Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and an IEEE Fellow. He was General Chair of the first international conference on Multi-Agent Systems (ICMAS) in 1995, and Founding President of the International Foundation of Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (IFAAMAS) in 1998. To honor his contributions to the field of multi-agent systems, IFAAMAS established the Victor Lesser Distinguished Dissertation Award. He received the UMass Amherst College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) Outstanding Teaching Award (2004) and Outstanding Research Award (2008), and the Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity (2008). Professor Lesser was also the recipient of the IJCAI-09 Award for Research Excellence.

Recommended Links

Reflections on Being an AI System Architect
A discussion of some of the key insights that motivated Prof. Lesser's research