​Victor Lesser

Victor Lesser received the Ph.D. degree in computer science from Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 1973. He is an Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Founding Director of the Multi-Agent Systems Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts.

His major research focus is on the control and organization of complex AI systems. He has pioneered work in the development of the blackboard architecture and its control structure, approximate processing for use in control and real-time AI, and a wide variety of techniques for the coordination of and negotiation among multiple agents. 

He was the system architect for first fully developed blackboard architecture (HEARSAY-II), when he was a research computer scientist at CMU from 1972 thru 1976, and is considered one of the founders of the Multi-Agent field starting with his early work in 1978. 

He has also made contributions in the areas of machine learning, signal understanding, diagnostics, plan recognition, and computer-supported cooperative work. He has worked in application areas such as 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. In terms of statistics, he has published over 500 papers, graduated 36 PhD students, and based on Google Scholar his citation count is over 25,000, h-index is 78 and i10-index is 277.

Professor Lesser's research accomplishments have been recognized by many major awards over the years. He received the prestigious IJCAI-09 Award for Research Excellence. He is also a Founding Fellow of 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 2007, to honor his contributions to the field of multi-agent systems, IFAAMAS established the “Victor Lesser Distinguished Dissertation Award.” He also received a Special Recognition Award for his foundational research in generalized coordination technologies from the Information Processing Technology Office at DARPA.