Victor R. Lesser

Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Off campus


Multi-agent systems, agents, real-time decision making, information gathering, situation assessment and interpretation of sensory data.


Professor Lesser's major research focus is on the control and organization of complex AI systems. Professor Lesser is considered a leading researcher in the areas of Multi-Agent Systems/Distributed AI, Intelligent Distributed Sensor Networks, Real-time AI, and Blackboard Systems. He has also made contributions in the areas of speech and sound understanding, diagnostics, adaptive signal processing, intelligent user interfaces, and computer architecture.


Ph.D. Computer Science, Stanford University (1973); M.S. Computer Science, Stanford University (1970); B.A. Mathematics, Cornell University (1966). Lesser has been a professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Massachusetts on the Amherst campus since 1977. He was named a Distinguished Professor in 2009. In 2011, he became an emeritus professor.

Activities & Awards

Professor Lesser is a Founding Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and an IEEE Fellow. He was General Chair of the first international conference on Multi-Agent Systems (ICMAS) in 1995, and Founding President of the International Foundation of Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (IFAAMAS) in 1998. To honor his contributions to the field of multi-agent systems, IFAAMAS established the "Victor Lesser Distinguished Dissertation Award." He received the UMass Amherst College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) Outstanding Teaching Award (2004) and Outstanding Research Award (2008), and the Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity (2008). Professor Lesser was also the recipient of the IJCAI-09 Award for Research Excellence.