Edmund H. Durfee is a Professor Emeritus of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he actively served on the faculty from 1988 to 2021. He received the AB degree in chemistry and physics from Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., in 1980, the MS degree in electrical and computer engineering and the PhD degree in computer and information science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass., in 1984 and 1987, respectively. His PhD research developed an approach for planning coordinated actions and interactions in a network of distributed AI problem-solving systems.
Ed has developed and studied computational mechanisms for planning and coordinating the activities of sophisticated, autonomous computational agents that adapt their behaviors to achieve individual and collective objectives in complex, time-critical environments. He has pioneered distributed planning and constraint satisfaction techniques for coordinating agents that must work together to satisfy mission requirements and has led NSF and DoD projects employing these techniques in applications including cooperative reconnaissance by unmanned vehicles, coordinating distributed human teams, military coalition coordination, and delegating command and control tasks to computational agents in reduced-crew size ships. He supervised 22 completed doctorates, served as Director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and of the UM Robotics and Autonomous Vehicles graduate program, and was instrumental in making sweeping improvements to UM’s CS undergraduate programs. He was an associate editor for the Journal of AI Research (JAIR), the International Journal on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (JAAMAS), and IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (SMC). He served a term as President of the International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (IFAAMAS), as well as several terms as Treasurer. He received a Presidential Young Investigator award in 1991 and an Outstanding Achievement Award in Research from the University of Massachusetts in 2012. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and of AAAI, and was the first two-time recipient of the IFAAMAS Influential Paper Award.