Peter Norvig

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Peter Norvig
Norvig speaking at UC Berkeley (2013)
Born (1956-12-14) December 14, 1956 (age 61)
Nationality American
Fields Computer Science
Institutions Google
Ames Research Center
Brown University
University of California, Berkeley
Alma mater Brown University
University of California, Berkeley
Thesis A Unified Theory of Inference for Text Understanding (1986)
Doctoral advisor Robert Wilensky[1]
Known for

Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach

Paradigms of AI Programming: Case Studies in Common Lisp

Peter Norvig (born December 14, 1956) is an American computer scientist. He is a Director of Research (formerly Director of Search Quality) at Google Inc.[2][3][4][5]

Educational background

He is a Fellow and Councilor of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and co-author, with Stuart Russell, of Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, now the leading college text in the field[citation needed]. He previously was head of the Computational Sciences Division (now the Intelligent Systems Division) at NASA Ames Research Center, where he oversaw a staff of 200 scientists performing NASA's research and development in autonomy and robotics, automated software engineering and data analysis, neuroengineering, collaborative systems research, and simulation-based decision-making. Before that he was Chief Scientist at Junglee, where he helped develop one of the first Internet comparison shopping services; Chief designer at Harlequin Inc.; and Senior Scientist at Sun Microsystems Laboratories.

Norvig received a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics from Brown University[6] and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.[1]


Norvig has been an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California and a Research Faculty Member at Berkeley. He has over fifty publications in various areas of Computer Science, concentrating on artificial intelligence, natural language processing, information retrieval[7] and software engineering including the books Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach,[8] Paradigms of AI Programming: Case Studies in Common Lisp,[9] Verbmobil: A Translation System for Face-to-Face Dialog, and Intelligent Help Systems for UNIX.[10]

Norvig is one of the creators of JScheme. In 2006 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery. Norvig is listed under "Academic Faculty & Advisors" for the Singularity University.[11] In 2011, Norvig worked with Sebastian Thrun to develop a popular online course in Artificial Intelligence[12] that had more than 160,000 students enrolled.[13] He also teaches an online course via the Udacity platform.[14] He believes that a teaching revolution, fostered by computer tools, is pending.[15]

Non-academic writing

In 2001, Norvig published a short article titled "Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years", arguing against the fashionable introductory programming textbooks that purported to teach programming in days or weeks.[16] The article was widely shared and discussed, and has attracted contributed translations to over 20 languages.[16]

Norvig is also known for his "Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation",[17] a satire about bad presentation practices[18] using Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Norvig, Peter (1986). A Unified Theory of Inference for Text Understanding (PhD thesis). University of California, Berkeley. 
  2. "Peter Norvig's home page". Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  3. Peter Norvig's publications indexed by Google Scholar, a service provided by Google
  4. List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  5. Peter Norvig's publications indexed by the DBLP Bibliography Server at the University of Trier
  6. Halevy, A.; Norvig, P.; Pereira, F. (2009). "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Data" (PDF). IEEE Intelligent Systems. 24 (2): 8–12. doi:10.1109/MIS.2009.36. 
  7. Michel, J. -B.; Shen, Y. K.; Aiden, A. P.; Veres, A.; Gray, M. K.; Google Books, J. P.; Pickett, D.; Hoiberg, D.; Clancy, P.; Norvig, J.; Orwant, S.; Pinker, M. A.; Nowak, E. L.; Aiden, E. L. (2011). "Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books". Science. 331 (6014): 176–182. Bibcode:2011Sci...331..176M. PMC 3279742Freely accessible. PMID 21163965. doi:10.1126/science.1199644. 
  8. Russell, Stuart J.; Norvig, Peter (2003), Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (2nd ed.), Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-790395-2 
  9. Norvig, Peter (1992), Paradigms of artificial intelligence programming: case studies in common LISP, Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufman Publishers, ISBN 1-55860-191-0 
  10. ″Intelligent Help Systems for Unix″
  11. "Singularity University list of Faculty and Advisors". Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  12. "Intro to AI - Introduction to Artificial Intelligence - Oct-Dec 2011". Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  13. Naughton, John (2012-02-05). "Welcome to the desktop degree | Technology | The Observer". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  14. "Udacity - Design of Computer Programs". Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  15. "A classroom with 100 000 students". June 2012. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years". Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  17. "The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation". Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  18. Norvig, P. (2003). "PowerPoint: Shot with its own bullets". The Lancet. 362 (9381): 343–344. PMID 12907004. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(03)14056-1. 

External links