Rapaport receives APA’s Barwise Prize

Award recognizes lifetime achievement in philosophy and computing

by Jane Stoyle Welch

Published December 4, 2015

William Rapaport.

Photo by Nancy Parisi

William Rapaport, Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, is the recipient of the 2015 Barwise Prize from the American Philosophical Association (APA).

The Barwise Prize is awarded annually by the APA committee on philosophy and computers “for significant and sustained contributions to areas relevant to philosophy and computing by an APA member,” according to the association’s website. Rapaport was recognized for his life-long achievements in research and teaching in the field.

Rapaport has done research and written extensively in the areas of in cognitive science, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, knowledge representation and reasoning, contextual vocabulary acquisition, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, critical thinking, and cognitive development. He is also interested in science educational theory and is a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Rapaport is the co-author or co-editor of two books; and has written over 100 articles in computer science, philosophy, cognitive science, and education. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

He is a recipient of the International Association for Computing and Philosophy's Covey Award for "senior scholars with a substantial record of innovative research in the field of computing and philosophy broadly conceived.”

He is well known locally for his interactive Buffalo Restaurant Guide, which before he closed it earlier this year, had over a million hits and included almost 3,100 reviews of nearly 900 restaurants.

Rapaport joined the Department of Computer Science in 1984 and in addition, held affiliated faculty positions in the departments of linguistics and philosophy and is and a member emeritus of the Center for Cognitive Science. He received a doctorate in philosophy with a minor in mathematics from Indiana University.

Rapaport will be presented with the award at the APA’s Eastern Division Meeting, to be held on January 6-9, 2016 in Washington, D.C.