Saul Amarel (1928 – December 18, 2002) was professor of computer
science at Rutgers University, and best known for his pioneering work
in artificial intelligence (AI). He also had a career as a scientist,
engineer, and teacher. He was a contributor to advanced computing and
AI methodologies, both applied to scientific inquiry as well as
Amarel was born into a Thessaloniki, Greek
Jewish family in 1928.
He served in the
Greek Resistance movement during
World War II
World War II as the
Germans invaded Greece. He was forced to flee with his family to Gaza,
which was then in British Palestine.
Amarel graduated from
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in
1948 with a bachelor's degree in engineering and worked for the
Israeli Ministry of Defense before heading to the United States. There
he obtained his master's degree in 1953 and then a doctorate in
Electrical Engineering in 1955 from
Columbia University in New York.
From 1958 to 1969, Amarel led the Computer Theory Research Group at
RCA Sarnoff Labs.
In 1969, Amarel founded the Department of
Computer Science at
Livingston College of Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New
From 1985 to 1988, Amarel served as Director of the Information
Sciences and Technology Office for the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency (DARPA).
In 1988, Amarel returned to Rutgers and was appointed the Alan M.
Turing Professor of Computer Science, pioneering research in the field
Amarel received the
Allen Newell Award from the Association for
Computing Machinery (ACM) for his wide-ranging contributions to
Artificial Intelligence, especially in advancing our understanding of
the role of representation in problem solving, and of the theory and
practice of computational planning. He was elected a Fellow of the
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 1994.
Amarel lived in Princeton, New Jersey, where he died in 2002 from a
heart attack following a six-year battle with cancer. This occurred
just as the celebration of his retirement from Rutgers University,
after more than 40 years of leadership in computer science nationally
and internationally, was under preparation for December 20, 2002.
^ "In Memoriam: Saul Amarel", Rutgers University. Accessed February
Saul Amarel - Award Winner", Association for Computing Machinery.
^ Nagourney, Saul. "Saul Amarel, 74, an Innovator In the Artificial
Intelligence Field", The New York Times, December 21, 2002. Accessed
November 24, 2007.
AI Article[permanent dead link]
Article from Smart Computing
Oral history interview with Saul Amarel, Charles Babbage Institute,
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.