Manuela Veloso awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Bordeaux

Manuela Veloso, a world renowned computer scientist and AI researcher and a Carnegie Mellon Portugal Faculty member since the launch of the partnership in 2006, was awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Bordeaux (Université de Bordeaux). In the same Ceremony on October 5th at the University headquarters, Martin Vetterli, president of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, was honored with the same title.

The opening ceremony was hosted by the University president, Manuel Tunon de Lara, who, during his speech, emphasized the importance of this distinction in Academic life and handed Manuela Veloso the title and insignia of Doctor Honoris Causa.

In her acceptance speech, Manuela Veloso spoke about how she began doing research in AI and robotics, and highlighted the launch of RoboCup to foster worldwide research and competitions in robot soccer, an innovative initiative started in the mid 1990s, for which she was a co-founder. Notably, she also referenced a few of her personal life experiences that led to her long term dedication to the science and engineering of AI and robotics. She concluded explaining her new exciting career direction in AI and finance, which she has recently embraced as Head of AI Research at J.P. Morgan Chase.

Manuela Veloso started her pathway with an Electrical Engineering bachelor degree and a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Lisbon’s Instituto Superior Técnico. Upon coming to the United States in 1984, she pursued a Master of Arts in Computer Science at Boston University and a Ph.D. also in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Her Ph.D. thesis, Learning by Analogical Reasoning in General Purpose Problem Solving, was supervised by Jaime Carbonell. Manuela Veloso joined the CMU Computer Science Department as an assistant professor, to then become Herbert A. Simon University Professor. She led the CMU Machine Learning Department from 2016 to 2018, when she took a leave of absence to create and head AI Research at J.P. Morgan Chase, one of the largest financial institutions. She is now Emeritus Professor in CMU’s School of Computer Science.

She was the founder of the CORAL Research Laboratory, for research in autonomous AI agents that Collaborate, Observer, Reason, Act, and Learn, with her many students and visitors over more than 25 years. She has published more than 300 scientific articles and she has graduated 45 PhD students. She was president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), co-founder and president of RoboCup. She further received several academic awards during her career, being Fellow of the four main professional associations in her area, namely AAAI, AAAS, ACM, and IEEE.

This year she was ranked in the top 10 of 35 world’s most influential women in engineering on the Academic Influence list long side astronauts, founders and CEOs of well-known technology and researchers from around the world. The Portuguese researcher has been strongly involved with the CMU Portugal Program, advising several dual-degree Ph.D. candidates in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and Robotics, within collaborative projects between Portuguese and Carnegie Mellon research teams.