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Memorandum from Joshua Lederberg to Robert Sears and Robert H. Alway

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  • Biology
  • Computer Science


DEPARTMENT OF GENEl’ICS STANFORD UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE STANFORD MEDICAL CENTER 300 PASTEUR DRIVE, PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA May 24, 1963 To: Dr. Robert Sears Dean, Humanities and Sciences Dr. l?obert Alway Dean, School of Medicine From: Joshua Lederberg Professor of Genetics Subject: Appointment of Dr. Marvin L. Minsky I am pleased to reinforce Professor Forsythe’s proposal for the appoint- ment of Dr. Marvin L. Eiinsky as Professor of Computer Sciences jointly in the Division of Computer Science and the Department of Genetics. The evaluation of Dr. l’linsky’s academic qualifications in the field of his own specialization is properly the responsibility of the Computer Science Division, and I can only add my own concurrence in giving them a very high appraisal. This is based on some very limited previous contact with Dr. Minsky over a period of scxne years, by my following of some of the worlc he has been doing in artificial intelligence through publications, and especially by the reinforcement of my previous opinions through two rather intensive sessions of personal discussion within the past several weeks. Hy impressions as to his remarkable intellectual capabilities are further reinforced by the opinions I have had of him from Professor McCarthy, and from the views of my colleagues in the tiedical School who have met him and have been acquainted with him. I think there is very little question that Dr. Minsky is an outstanding contributor in the field of artificial intelligence, whatever controversy there may be concerning the actual present stature of this field of in- vestigation. As several of Dr. Minsky’s referees have indicated, if there is anyone who is 1 ikely to accomplish a significant advance in artificial intelligence, it is likely to be Dr. Minsicy. To these special qualifications for advanced research in the role of computers, Dr. Minsky adds an unusual breadth of general scientific scholarship, including biology

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