Peter Norvig

Peter Norvig

Norvig speaking at UC Berkeley (2013)
Born (1956-12-14) December 14, 1956
Nationality American
Fields Computer Science
Institutions Google
Ames Research Center
University of Southern California
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 at Google Inc., and used to be its Director of Search Quality.[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 . He 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 2 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
  4. List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  5. Peter Norvig at DBLP Bibliography Server
  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. doi:10.1126/science.1199644. PMC 3279742Freely accessible. PMID 21163965.
  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. 1 2 "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. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(03)14056-1. PMID 12907004.
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