Robert Wilensky, professor emeritus of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, and one of the campus’s first faculty members in artificial intelligence, died recently at age 61 in Oakland, CA.
Wilensky's career at UC Berkeley spanned nearly 30 years, beginning in 1978 when he joined the faculty in computer science. He later was appointed a professor at the School of Information and Management Sciences (now the School of Information), which he helped form.
His many research interests included the role of memory processes in natural language processing, language analysis and production and artificial intelligence in programming languages.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Wilensky received his bachelor's degree in mathematics and his Ph.D. in computer science from Yale University. After graduating from Yale, Wilensky moved to California to join UC Berkeley.
He authored and co-authored many scholarly articles, conference papers, books and technical reports on artificial intelligence, planning and knowledge representation, natural language processing, and information dissemination.
Wilensky was named a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in recognition of his contributions to the areas of natural language processing and digital libraries, as well as for his outstanding leadership in computer science. He also was an honorary member of the Golden Key National Honor Society, and a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence. He has also served as an ACM National Lecturer.