01 May 2009

Professor Yorick Wilks receives BCS Lovelace Medal

yorick wilks

Yorick Wilks, a professor of Artificial Intelligence in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Sheffield has been honoured with the British Computer Society’s Lovelace Medal.

The medal is named after Ada Lovelace, a mathematician and scientist who worked with, and was an inspiration to, the computer pioneer Charles Babbage. It is presented to individuals who have made a contribution which is of major significance in the advancement of information systems or which adds significantly to the understanding of information systems.

Professor Wilks has been working in artificial intelligence and the computer processing of language, knowledge and belief, for almost half a century. He has pioneered meaning-based approaches to the understanding of natural language content by computers and has published a number of definitive books in the field.

He received the award just a year after being presented with the equally prestigious Zampolli Prize in 2008 and the Association for Computational Linguistics Lifetime Achievement Award in the US the same year.

Previous winners of the Lovelace Medal include Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 2006 for his invention of the World Wide Web in 1989, and Dr Toney Storey in 2008 and Karen Sparck Jones in 2007 for their significant contributions to the development of IT.

Professor Wilks commented: “I am astonished to get this award and to be in the same company as Sir Tim Berners-Lee (2006) and my late Cambridge colleague Karen Sparck Jones (2008).

Professor Wilks will be presented with the award at an event in London in spring 2010, at which he will give the 2010 Lovelace Lecture, an honour that only winners of the award receive.