In Memoriam: Aravind Joshi

It is with great sadness that we share the news that our colleague, Aravind Joshi, died on December 31, 2017, at his home. We have lost a brilliant scientist and researcher, an extraordinary teacher and mentor, a wonderful friend, and a kind and gentle soul. Aravind is survived by his wife Susan and children Shyamala and Meera.

Aravind’s research began during the formative years of information theory and communication theory. Since the 1950s, he endeavored to solve problems that overlap the disciplines of computer science and linguistics, working on syntactic and semantic representations for language structure; the relationship of language structure to logic; mathematical linguistics; the theory of computation as it relates to natural language processing; parsing algorithms; and the design and implementation of various systems for natural language processing. Throughout his long and distinguished career, he made seminal contributions in the areas of formal linguistics, natural language processing, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science, most notably through his invention of “Tree Adjoining Grammar” and the elucidation and application of Centering Theory. At Penn, he was the founding chair of the Department of Computer and Information Science and co-founder of our first Science and Technology Center, the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science.

Aravind's many honors and awards include the 1997 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence Award for Research Excellence; the first Association for Computational Linguistics Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002; the 2003 David E. Rumelhart Prize; and the 2005 Benjamin Franklin Medal, “for his fundamental contributions to our understanding of how language is represented in the mind, and for developing techniques that enable computers to process efficiently the wide range of human languages.” Aravind was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1999.

These achievements notwithstanding, it was his decades of scholarly mentorship of hundreds of students and colleagues that truly delighted Aravind and brought honor and distinction to the Department of Computer and Information Science and the University of Pennsylvania.

Memorial for Dr. Aravind Joshi


A Memorial for Dr. Aravind Joshi will be held on:
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
3pm-4pm at the
Singh Center for Nanotechnology


The Memorial is open to everyone who appreciated Aravind -- his family, and his many friends, colleagues, students and ex-students -- and will be followed by a reception, also at the Singh Center. We hope as many people as possible will be able to attend.
Could you please RSVP to the email below if you are planning to attend in person: joshi-memorial@seas.upenn.edu, so that we may arrange for sufficient seating and refreshments.

View the memorial live stream here


Freel free to re-send this announcement so that Aravind's wide circle of friends, colleagues and students know of this event.