Intelligent Computer Systems Research Institute


A Brief History

The Intelligent Computer Research Center at the University of Miami was established in 1986 by David BendelDavid Bendel Hertz Hertz, Ph. D, J.D. His significant contributions, through his writings and his work at the management consulting firms of Arthur Andersen and McKinsey and Company, helped bring the ideas and methods of operations research to the corporate world. In particular, he defined the field of modern risk analysis with his seminal 1964 paper, “Risk Analysis in Capital Investment,” published in the Harvard Business Review. This paper achieved the status of a Harvard Business Review Classic in 1979. He was a founding member of both the Operations Research Society of America (ORSA) and The Institute of Management Sciences (TIMS); and served as president of both organizations (TIMS in 1964 and ORSA in 1974). He received the George E. Kimball Medal for outstanding service to the profession from ORSA and was a fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). He served as president of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies (IFORS) from 1977 to 1979.

Dr. Hertz was the first “technologist” at McKinsey, recruited by Mavin Bauer to expand the firm's practices in risk and application of decision science in management. Working alongside AI pioneers in academia and industry, he developed and pioneered the use of those techniques in business. Upon retirement from his position as Managing Partner of the New York City office of McKinsey, he moved to Miami and established the Intelligent Computer Systems Research Institute in 1986. During his leadership, the Institute built a solid foundation of research and teaching in AI and management attracting government grants, graduating doctoral students; and hosting Turing award winners, Nobel prize winners, and post-doctoral researchers. It also published the “AI Reporter” magazine which focused on technology trends in AI and business practice. Dr. Hertz retired from day-to-day leadership in 1996 but remained active. He endowed two undergraduate studentships at the business school as part of his tradition of giving.

In 1996, Dr. Robert Plant was appointed director of the research group, which then became primarily focused on the validation and verification of AI systems. This topic has been and remains a vital aspect of AI. He notes, “Fundamentally, there is a duality in AI systems whereby one aspect is to let them be free to explore ‘be generative,’ the second is to constrain them, ensure they do what, and only what, they are designed to do within hard constraints. Would you trust a generative AI to run a nuclear power station? Typically, the answer is no; unless you need a creative solution to a reactor meltdown. Thus, the AI-paradox. The ICSRI as a group has always worked and coordinated with researchers globally to address leading-edge technical and ethical issues in ‘validation and verification’ through professional organizations such as IEEE and the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). We are excited to continue Dr. Hertz’s legacy as AI continues to evolve.”