Davis Professor of Complexity, Science Board co-chair, Science Steering Committee, External Professor
Melanie Mitchell is Professor of Computer Science at Portland State University, and External Professor and Co-Chair 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.
Mitchell 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 six books and numerous scholarly papers in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and complex systems, including Complexity: A Guided Tour (Oxford, 2009), which won the 2010 Phi Beta Kappa Science Book Award. Her newest book is Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2019).
Mitchell originated the Santa Fe Institute's Complexity Explorer project, which offers online courses and other educational resources related to the field of complex systems.