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Richmond H. Thomason
Regents' Proceedings

Richmond H. Thomason, Ph.D., professor of philosophy and professor of linguistics in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and professor of electrical engineering and computer science in the College of Engineering, retired from active faculty status on December 31, 2021.

Professor Thomason received his B.A. degree from Wesleyan University in 1961 and his M.A. degree in 1963 and Ph.D. degree in 1965 both from the Yale University. In 1965, he was the Sterling Fellow at Yale University, from 1966-69 he was an assistant professor of philosophy, from 1969-72 he was an associate professor of philosophy at Yale. He was appointed a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow from 1972-73, from 1973-75 he was an associate professor of philosophy and linguistics, from 1975-83 he was a professor of philosophy and linguistics, from 1983-90 he was a professor of linguistics and philosophy, and from 1990-98 he was a professor of linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh. From 1985-89, he was an adjunct professor at Carnegie-Mellon University. He joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1999 as a professor of philosophy, computer science, and linguistics.

Professor Thomason’s central interests are in logic. He has published over 35 articles and a textbook. Since 2011 has served as Managing Editor of the Studia Logica. He has been concerned with adapting logical theories for applications beyond the purely mathematical sciences, which led to an interest in linguistics. His main linguistic specialties are semantics and pragmatics. Since 2005, he has become concerned with issues relating to theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. His chief research interests in computer science are knowledge representation and the design of effective communication systems. Since 1986, while at Carnegie Mellon and University of Maryland, he and his colleagues, worked to develop and apply a theory of inheritance systems. In 1994, he engaged in a research project concerned with the development of architectures for natural language interpretation and generation. While at Michigan, he renewed his interests in philosophy, and started new projects in philosophy of language, the logic of context, the theory of practical reasoning, and the formalization of reasoning about the attitudes of other agents.

The Regents now salute this distinguished philosophy, linguistics, electrical engineering and computer science educator for his dedicated service by naming Richmond H. Thomason, professor emeritus of philosophy, professor emeritus of linguistics, and professor emeritus of electrical engineering and computer science.