Patrick Henry Winston
Curriculum vitae


Patrick H. Winston is Ford Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Professor Winston joined the faculty of the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 1970.

Professor Winston is a member of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He served as Director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, a predecessor of CSAIL, from 1972 to 1997.

Professor Winston has served on many MIT faculty committees throughout his career, including personnel committees, search committees, committees on student life, and MIT's Faculty Policy Committee, the primary committee responsible for formulating policy recommendations for MIT's president.


Professor Winston teaches subjects in artificial intelligence for which he has received the 2011 Eta Kappa Nu Teaching Award for excellence in instruction, a MacVicar Faculty Fellowship in 2011, the Baker Award for undergraduate teaching in 2010, and the Graduate Student Council Teaching Award in 2006.


Professor Winston's Genesis Group studies how the human story-understanding faculty separates us from other species, living and extinct. His group's Genesis system reads simple stories, answers questions about them, asks intelligent questions, identifies concepts, retells persuasively, educates, summarizes, compares, and authors, integrating work from several allied fields, including not only Artificial Intelligence, but also Computer Science, Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Linguistics, and Paleoanthropology.


Professor Winston's publications include various papers and 17 books, comprised of major textbooks on Artificial Intelligence and several programming languages, an edited collection of papers about Artificial Intelligence applications, and several edited collections of key MIT research papers.

Public service

Professor Winston has served three times as a member of the Naval Research Advisory Committee (NRAC) (1985–1991, 1994–2000, and 2003–2011), each time reaching the limit of continuous service. From 1997 to 2000, he served as chair. During his service on NRAC, he led several studies, including a study on computer resources, a study on software intensive systems, and a study of technology for reduced manning. In recognition of his services on NRAC, Professor Winston received a Meritorious Public Service Award and a Distinguished Public Service Award.

Professor Winston is a member of the Massport Security Advisory Committee. He served as a member of Defense Intelligence Agency Advisory Board, and he is a past president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

Commercial activities

Professor Winston has founded, served as board member of, and advised several companies.

Professor Winston is chairman and co-founder of Ascent Technology, Inc., a company that develops products that solve complex resource-planning, resource-scheduling, resource-allocation, and situation-assessment problems.


Professor Winston received the B.S. in Electrical Engineering (1965), the M.S. in Electrical Engineering (1967), and the Ph.D. in Computer Science (1970), all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His doctoral dissertation introduced ideas on the subject of computer learning from examples and near misses.