The University of Pittsburgh School of Law is an ideal venue for the Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law. The combination of an attractive host city, a modern law school, an intellectual climate famously supportive of AI research and notable for its legal resources, and of travel amenities and attractions will help to ensure a positive experience for all.
The conference location is the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Pittsburgh is the second largest city in Pennsylvania with a population of more than 300,000 in a metropolitan area of more than 2.4 million people. Pittsburgh’s downtown occupies a triangular tract bounded on two sides where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers join to form the Ohio River. In 1754, the French established Fort Duquesne at “the Point” to command this strategic location. Four years later, in the French and Indian War, part of the Seven Years’ War, the British captured the fort and established a larger one, naming it “Fort Pitt” in honor of the British statesman and leader, William Pitt, the Elder. In 1803, at the behest of President Jefferson, Lewis and Clark embarked from Pittsburgh on their expedition of discovery westward to the Pacific Ocean.
The city still has a pre-revolutionary fortification, now dwarfed by more than 150 high-rise buildings, over 440 bridges, and two inclined railways that lift passengers to dramatic overlooks from Mt. Washington. Historically associated with a once-vibrant steel industry, the city’s economy is now based largely on healthcare, education, technology, robotics, and financial services. In 2009, The Economist declared Pittsburgh to be the most livable city in the United States. In September, 2009, the city hosted the G20 Meeting. From an architectural and cultural viewpoint, Pittsburgh offers much to attract visitors. In The New Yorker magazine, January 9, 1989, architecture writer Brendan Gill wrote in The Skyline segment that “if Pittsburgh were situated somewhere in the heart of Europe, tourists would eagerly journey hundreds of miles out of their way to visit. Its setting is spectacular, between high bluffs where the Monongahela River and the Allegheny River meet the Ohio.”
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
The meeting will take place in the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Pitt's Law School faculty has been ranked 21st in the nation in terms of scholarly impact, and the Law School is currently ranked 71st out of 217 on US News and World Report's rankings of America's top law schools. Founded in 1895, the Law School moved in 1976 to its current home, the Barco Law Building, located in the heart of the University’s main campus in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood. The Conference’s main sessions will take place in the Teplitz Memorial Moot Courtroom on the ground floor, a modern light oak-panelled facility that can seat up to 200 people, regularly used for conferences and special sessions of state and federal courts. The Courtroom and main classrooms all have modern facilities for computer projection and wireless web connections. A newly refurbished University Club a few blocks from the Law Building offers an elegant venue for the conference dinner.
University of Pittsburgh ...
The Law School lies at the heart of the University of Pittsburgh, a leading publicly-supported research university ranked among the top 10 schools in terms of U.S. National Institute of Health research allocations. It is distinguished for outstanding research faculty in such areas as philosophy, history and philosophy of science, medical and health sciences, psychology, law, and computer science. Its University Center for International Studies is home to one of the ten European Union Centers of Excellence in the United States. Pitt’s skyline is dominated by the Cathedral of Learning, a 42-story Late Gothic Revival tower that houses many University departments and its Administration, and features more than 25 Nationality Rooms, classrooms lavishly decorated in the styles of different international cultures.
The University is the home of the Intelligent Systems Programs (ISP), a multidisciplinary graduate program for research and studies in Artificial Intelligence and applications located across the street from the Law School in offices adjoining Pitt’s Computer Science Department. More than 25 ISP faculty pursue research in fields such as medical diagnosis, knowledge representation, machine learning, intelligent tutoring, natural language generation and discourse, planning, case-based reasoning, problem solving, and argumentation. Of historical significance for AI and Law, the University of Pittsburgh-Aspen System, the first modern legal information retrieval system, was developed here in the 1960’s (see, e.g., Horty, The “Keywords in Combination” Approach, Modern Uses of Logic in Law, 1962:54).
... and Environs
Within a half-mile of the Law School and Cathedral of Learning, the campus of Carnegie Mellon University begins, including Newell Simon Hall, home of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, The Robotics Institute, and the Language Technology Institute, and the new Gates and Hillman Centers, which house other parts of Carnegie Mellon University’s Computer Science Department. Here, of course, the history of AI runs deep. The ICAIL-13 meeting’s proximity to Carnegie Mellon University’s AI community offers special opportunities for interactions.
Surrounding the University of Pittsburgh, Oakland is the academic, cultural, and healthcare center of Pittsburgh. Within a short walk of the campus, Oakland’s cultural centers and urban amenities include the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (outstanding collections of dinosaurs and gemstones), the Carnegie Museum of Art (extensive galleries of paintings and sculpture), the Carnegie Library, the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Schenley Park and Schenley Plaza, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Rodef Shalom Congregation, and WQED, home of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.
A short bus trip downtown (3 miles) leads to museums (Warhol Museum, Science Center), ethnic food markets (in the “Strip District”, named because it is long and thin), shopping (e.g., Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s), sight-seeing (dramatic views of the city from the Mt. Washington overlooks reached from Station Square via the Duquesne and Monongahela Inclines, cable-powered inclined railways or funiculars), sports (e.g., PNC Park, a beautiful new baseball stadium with great views of the skyline and home of the Pittsburgh Pirates; Heinz Field, home of the Super Bowl Champion Steelers), culture (e.g., the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Manfred Honeck, conductor, and Theater Square designed by architect Michael Graves), and many, many restaurants. (See, e.g., http://www.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2008-07-17-pittsburgh_N.htm, and views of Pittsburgh.)