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Program Directors:

Mailing Address:

Siebel Scholars Foundation
1300 Seaport Blvd., Suite 400
Redwood City, CA 94063


(650) 299-5260

2010 - Brett Harrison

For years, advances in artificial intelligence research have made it possible for computer programs to defeat world champions in games of strategy, including checkers, chess, backgammon, and Othello.  Yet, low-ranked professional players of Go can easily defeat the most advanced computer Go programs, even when these computerized programs are given a considerable amount of extra stones as a handicap.

Brett Harrison believes that the logic involved in the game of Go holds enormous potential for other disciplines.  Go currently presents one of the greatest challenges to artificial intelligence researchers, due to the game’s large state space and strategy.  Each play has 361 potential moves, and placement of a stone can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of the game.  Brett is researching sophisticated algorithms for move prediction, with the intention of advancing the state-of-the-art in computer Go programs.  His research, in turn, may have relevance for other applications of supervised machine learning and classification, such as computer vision—used in image search and labeling, face recognition for identification, and surveillance—and pattern recognition that is essential to financial prediction, handwriting, and voice recognition.

A seasoned alto saxophone player by the time he entered Harvard, Brett learned about a cappella through a friend, and decided on a whim to audition for the Harvard Din & Tonics.  Brett now performs with the world-renowned group and is coordinating his second world tour with the “Dins.”

Brett is a co-terminal Bachelor’s and Master’s degree candidate.  His passion for mathematics led him to help found the Harvard College of Mathematics Review.  Based on his “twice in a lifetime” experience touring with the Dins, Brett has gained deep appreciation for opportunities to bridge language and cultural differences, and hopes to work abroad in the future.