Steve Omohundro

Steve Omohundro

Stephen M. Omohundro is a computer scientist specializing in artificial intelligence.

He graduated from Stanford University with degrees in Physics and Mathematics. He received a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley and published the book Geometric Perturbation Theory in Physics based on his thesis.

At Thinking Machines Corporation, he developed Star Lisp, the first programming language for the Connection Machine, with Cliff Lasser. From 1986 to 1988, he was an Assistant Professor of Computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and cofounder of the Center for Complex Systems Research. While at the University of Illinois, he worked with Stephen Wolfram and others (D. Grayson, R. Maeder, H. Cejtin, D. Ballman and J. Keiper) to create the symbolic mathematics program Mathematica.

He subsequently joined the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) in Berkeley, California, where he led the development of the object-oriented programming language Sather in 1990 and developed novel neural network and machine learning algorithms. He subsequently was a Research scientist at the NEC Research Institute, working on machine learning and computer vision, and was a co-inventor of U.S. Patent 5,696,964, “Multimedia Database Retrieval System Which Maintains a Posterior Probability Distribution That Each Item in the Database is a Target of a Search

He then started the consultancy OLO Software, and is now President of Self-Aware Systems in Palo Alto, California. He has been an advisor to the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence since April 2007.


Steve Omohundro at (US) Singularity Summit Steve Omohundro has had a wide-ranging career as a scientist, professor, author, software architect, and entrepreneur doing research that explores the interface between mind and matter. He has degrees in Physics and Mathematics from Stanford and a Ph.D. in Physics from U.C. Berkeley. He was a computer science professor at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and cofounded the Center for Complex Systems Research. He published the book “Geometric Perturbation Theory in Physics”, designed the programming languages StarLisp and Sather, wrote the 3D graphics system for Mathematica, and built systems which learn to read lips, control robots, and induce grammars. He has worked with many research labs and startup companies and founded the think tank Self-Aware Systems. He is the president of Omai Systems, a recent startup which is developing a new kind of software technology to revolutionize modeling and innovation. Steve is an award-winning teacher and has given hundreds of talks around the world. Some of his talks and scientific papers are available here.

In addition to his scientific work, Steve is passionate about human growth and transformation. He has trained in Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Gendlin’s Focusing, Travell’s Trigger Point Therapy, Bohm’s Dialogue, Beck’s Life Coaching, and Schwarz’s Internal Family Systems Therapy, and has explored many other personal growth paths. He loves dancing the 5 Rhythms, reading and writing poetry, eating a healthy Paleo diet, options investing, and traveling around the world.


A list of some of Steve’s presentations (with annotations) can be found here.