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About Melanie Mitchell

Melanie Mitchell is Professor of Computer Science at Portland State University, and External Professor and Member of the Science Board at the Santa Fe Institute. She attended Brown University, where she majored in mathematics and did research in astronomy, and the University of Michigan, where she received a Ph.D. in computer science, Her dissertation, in collaboration with her advisor Douglas Hofstadter, was the development of Copycat, a computer program that makes analogies. She has held faculty or professional positions at the University of Michigan, the Santa Fe Institute, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the OGI School of Science and Engineering, and Portland State University. She is the author or editor of five books and over 70 scholarly papers in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and complex systems. Her most recent book, Complexity: A Guided Tour (Oxford, 2009), won the 2010 Phi Beta Kappa Science Book Award. It was also named by as one of the ten best science books of 2009, and was longlisted for the Royal Society's 2010 book prize. Melanie directs the Santa Fe Institute's Complexity Explorer project, which offers online courses and other educational resources related to the field of complex systems.


Present Professor, Portland State University Computer Science

Curriculum Vitae

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Honors and Awards

  • Regents' Fellowship, University of Michigan, 1984–1988
  • Fellowship, Michigan Society of Fellows, University of Michigan, 1990–1993
  • Ulam Memorial Lectureship, Santa Fe Institute, 1997
  • 21st Century Research Award, J.S. McDonnell Foundation, 2002–2007
  • Member of the Science Board, Santa Fe Institute, 2008–present
  • Member of the Science Steering Committee, Santa Fe Institute, 2010–present
  • Winner of Phi Beta Kappa Society 2010 Science Book Award for Complexity: A Guided Tour

Contact Information

Department of Computer Science
Portland State University
P.O. Box 751
Portland, OR 97207-0751
Tel.: (503) 725-2412


Computer Vision (4)

Complex Systems, General (10)

Recent Works (5)

Cellular Automata (8)