Jack Minker is Professor Emeritus, Computer Science (CS), at the University of Maryland. He is a leading authority in artificial intelligence, deductive databases, logic programming, and nonmonotonic reasoning. He is also an internationally recognized leader in the field of scientific freedom and human rights and has worked in this field since 1972.
Minker graduated Brooklyn College in 1949 with a BA degree, cum laude, with honors in mathematics. He then received a Teaching Assistantship (1949-1950) from the University of Wisconsin, where he received an MS degree in mathematics in 1950. He received a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in mathematics in 1959.
Minker's career spans work in industry and academia. He worked in industry at the Bell Aircraft Corporation (1951-1952), at RCA (1952-1963), and at the Auerbach Corporation (1963-1967). His career in academia started in 1967, when he joined the University of Maryland. At Maryland he became the founding chair of the Department of Computer Science in 1974.
Minker has had a long and distinguished career in CS and has received numerous awards, both for technical contributions and for his truly unprecedented role in organizing and stimulating scientific discourse around the world. Organizations that have recognized Minker's work include the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), and the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS). Minker is a Fellow of the IEEE, the AAAS, the ACM, and the AAAI.
Minker has received several major awards: the 1985 ACM Outstanding Contribution Award for his work in scientific freedom and human rights; the 1996 University of Maryland President's Medal, recognizing a member of the College Park community who has made extraordinary contributions to the social, intellectual, and cultural life of the campus (the highest honor awarded by the university); the 2005 Allen Newell Award for his fundamental contributions to logic-based methods in computer science; and the 2011 Heinz R. Pagels Award from the New York Academy of Sciences: Human Rights Committee, first received by Dr. Andrei Sakharov, the Soviet physicist, human rights activist, and Nobel Peace laureate.