[PlanetKR] Fahiem Bacchus

Sheila McIlraith sheila at cs.toronto.edu
Mon Sep 26 22:10:37 UTC 2022

Dear Esra, Dear KR Friends and Colleagues,

Esra, thank you for sharing this very sad news with our KR community.  It
is a loss for all of us, and for the KR and AI community. Fahiem was a dear
friend and valued colleague.  Please know that he was at peace when he
died, at home, surrounded by his family.  He was lucid and reflective in
the days leading up to his death, sad, but also proud of all that he had
accomplished in his life and career.  He had not lost his sense of humour
and we shared some laughs as well as some more soulful conversation.  His
community -- this community -- meant a great deal to him and he was
grateful for the rich intellectual environment and home that the KR and the
SAT communities gave him these many years.

Fahiem's wife, Jessica Davies, is preparing an obituary which she had asked
me to circulate to the international community, (She said it was not ready
yet because a precondition had not been fulfilled :-)).  Briefly, there
will be a private interment followed by a Celebration of Life on Friday,
September 30.  The University of Toronto flag will fly at half mast in
recognition of our loss.  For those who might consider traveling, everyone
is welcome at the Celebration of Life (details to follow).  For those for
whom this is too last minute, the Department of Computer Science will be
organizing an event at a later date in conjunction with his family to allow
us to remember and pay tribute to this wonderful man.  We will be sharing
remembrances on Friday. If you have something you wish to share you can
email me and I will share it on your behalf, or if you feel comfortable
doing so, I encourage you to share your remembrances at the University of
Toronto memorial site
<https://web.cs.toronto.edu/news-events/news/in-memoriam-fahiem-bacchus> that
Esra mentioned, Jessica is also setting up a scholarship in Fahiem's memory
this will be included in the obituary.


On Mon, Sep 26, 2022 at 4:10 PM Esra Erdem via PlanetKR <planetkr at kr.org>

> Dear colleagues,
> I am very sorry to share with you the sad news that Fahiem Bacchus passed
> away last week, on September 22.
> Fahiem has touched the lives of many of us, as a colleague, teacher,
> mentor, and friend, with his valuable contributions to KR and other areas
> of AI, with his intelligent remarks, encouraging suggestions, and big warm
> smile. We will miss him greatly.
> Here is an excerpt from the Department of Computer Science, University of
> Toronto's webpage in memoriam of Fahiem:
> "Fahiem was a renowned computer scientist who, for more than 30 years,
> made significant contributions to the theory and practice of Artificial
> Intelligence (AI), specifically to the field of Knowledge Representation
> and Reasoning (KR). His research was both broad in scope and deep: his work
> greatly advanced the mathematical foundations of KR as well as its
> practice, and he was well-known for his contributions to the development of
> state-of-the-art SAT and MaxSAT solvers, and planning systems. He authored
> over 100 peer-reviewed publications, winning multiple best-paper awards,
> and his solvers won top placements in several international competitions.
> Fahiem was also deeply involved in service to the AI community, most
> recently serving as president of the board of trustees for the
> International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI,) and as
> chair of the SAT Association Board.
> For his profound impact on the discipline, Fahiem was recognized as a
> Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
> (AAAI), and was presented with the Canadian Artificial Intelligence
> Association’s highest honour – the Lifetime Achievement Award."
> https://web.cs.toronto.edu/news-events/news/in-memoriam-fahiem-bacchus
> With our deepest condolences to Fahiem’s family, colleagues, students, and
> friends. We will miss him greatly.
> Kind regards,
> Esra
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