Melanie Mitchell is Professor of Computer Science at Portland State University, and External Professor and Member 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.
Melanie 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. Melanie’s book Complexity: A Guided Tour (Oxford University Press) won the 2010 Phi Beta Kappa Science Book Award and was named by Amazon.com as one of the ten best science books of 2009. Melanie’s latest book, Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans, will be published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in 2019.
Melanie originated the Santa Fe Institute’s Complexity Explorer platform, which offers online courses and other educational resources related to the field of complex systems.Her online course “Introduction to Complexity” has been taken by over 25,000 students, and is one of Course Central’s “top fifty online courses of all time”.