University of Pittsburgh
September 9, 2011

NEWS FROM PITT: News, Awards and Developments at the University of Pittsburgh

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Behind the larger stories about the University of Pittsburgh are other stories of faculty, staff, and student achievement as well as information on Pitt programs reaching new levels of success. The following is a compilation of some of those stories.

Pitt Researcher Named to the Inaugural Class of Senior Members of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence

Pitt computer science professor Diane J. Litman, director of Pitt’s Intelligent Systems Program and a senior scientist in Pitt’s Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) has been granted senior member status in the inaugural class of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). One of only nine members to be so honored, Litman was awarded the status in recognition of her achievements and long-standing efforts in the field of artificial intelligence as well as for her long-term participation in AAAI. She was accorded the honor last month in San Francisco at the 25th Annual AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence.

Litman’s expertise is in the area of artificial intelligence, tutoring systems, and natural language processing. Along with other colleagues at LRDC, Litman has developed computational tutorial dialogue systems that promote learning through conversation. Litman earned her AB degree in mathematics and computer science from The College of William and Mary and her MS and PhD degrees in computer science from the University of Rochester. In 2008, she received The Leverhulme Trust’s prestigious Visiting Professorship Award, which allowed her to collaborate with fellow researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. From 2000 to 2003, Litman served as chair of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics.

Founded in 1979, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence ( is a nonprofit scientific membership society devoted to advancing the scientific understanding of the computational mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines. AAAI aims to foster the science and practice of artificial intelligence (AI), as well as to increase public understanding of AI, improve the teaching and training of AI practitioners, and provide guidance for research planners and funders concerning AI developments and directions. Each year, AAAI sponsors numerous programs including scientific conferences, workshops, and symposia.

Pitt School of Law Career Services Expands, Names New Director

Lori McMaster (LAW ’86) joined Pitt’s School of Law Sept. 6 as the new director of its Career Services Office. McMaster brings to the position extensive experience both as a practicing attorney in Cleveland and Pittsburgh and, most recently, as a legal recruiter with the firm Special Counsel in its Pittsburgh Office. Prior to that, she spent 20 years as an attorney specializing in complex corporate litigation. An active member of the local bar, McMaster recently completed a term as president of the Women in the Law division of the Allegheny County Bar Association.

McMaster’s goals include increasing the number of employers recruiting at the law school, enhancing networking opportunities for students, and employing innovative approaches to help students develop effective job-search strategies.

Joining McMaster in her efforts at Pitt’s law school are Keeley P. Mitchell, director of public interest and government relations at Pitt, and Jacki Herzog, director of employer recruitment.

Mitchell joined Pitt Law in January 2011. A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, she brings to Pitt Law 14 years of experience in the legal community. Prior to joining the school, Mitchell was a managing director of lateral associate recruiting at the legal recruitment and placement firm Major, Lindsey, & Africa. Previously, Mitchell practiced for 11 years as a commercial real estate attorney at Seward & Kissel, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart (now known as K&L Gates), and Wolf Block.

Herzog, who joined the administrative staff in July 2011, received her MA degree in human resources management and her Professional in Human Resources certification from Washington University in St. Louis. After earning her degree from Duquesne University School of Law, she practiced in the area of employee benefits in Pittsburgh for Reed Smith LLP, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, and Tucker Arensberg PC.



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