Overview and Motivation

The Cognitive Systems Foundation sponsors an award in honor of Herbert A. Simon, a seminal researcher who co-founded the field of artificial intelligence in the late 1950s. Together with Allen Newell, he invented list processing, implemented the first running AI system, devised the earliest computer models of human problem solving, and championed the notions of satisficing and heuristic decision making. Simon's contributions have influenced the field in profound and far-reaching ways.

There are a number of prestigious awards that recognize achievements in AI-related topics. ACM's Turing and Newell Awards cover the diverse discipline of computer science, IJCAI's Computers and Thought Award cuts across the field of artificial intelligence, and the Rumelhart Prize recognizes research on formal accounts of human cognition. However, none of these accolades emphasize Simon's abiding concern with high-level thinking in humans and machines.

The current prize celebrates progress in this latter tradition. One purpose is to remind the community of Simon's groundbreaking ideas about high-level processing and their potential for understanding the mind. At the same time, it recognizes the contributions of senior scientists who have built on his early work. The statement that accompanies the prize reiterates these dual aims:

This declaration draws an explicit link between intelligence in humans and machines, emphasizes the importance of constructing computational artifacts, and highlights the focus on high-level aspects of cognition. The annual award is sponsored by the Cognitive Systems Foundation, which contributes a cash prize of $10,000, and is co-sponsored by the Herbert Simon Society.

Simon Prize Recipients

Contacts and Nominations

For more information about the Herbert A. Simon Prize, including how to nominate candidates for future years, please contact the Chair of the Selection Committee, Pat Langley (patrick.w.langley@gmail.com).


Administrative and financial support for the Herbert A. Simon Prize for Advances in Cognitive Systems is provided by the Cognitive Systems Foundation, which co-sponsors it jointly with the Herbert Simon Society.