U.Va. Professors Wulf and Diamond Elected to American Philosophical Society

May 7, 2007 -- William A. Wulf, a professor in the University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Cora Diamond, professor emerita of philosophy and professor of law, have been elected to the American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned society in the United States. The society, which was founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743 with the goal of “promoting useful knowledge,” announced the election of new members on April 27.

Wulf is the AT&T Professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Science as well as the president of the National Academy of Engineering. Wulf received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Illinois before being award the first doctorate in computer science from the University of Virginia in 1968. Before joining the U.Va. faculty in 1990, he taught at Carnegie Mellon University, founded Tartan Laboratories and served as the assistant director of the National Science Foundation. Wulf is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a fellow of ACM, IEEE, AAAS and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author or coauthor of three books and over 40 papers.

Diamond is a professor emerita in the Department of Philosophy and professor of law in the U.Va. School of Law. From 1993 to 2002 she was the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Philosophy and from 1998 to 2002 she was University Professor of Philosophy. She received her bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and a B. Phil. from Oxford University. Her principle scholarly interests include Wittgenstein, Frege and the philosophy of language, moral and political philosophy, and philosophy and literature. She is the author of “The Realistic Spirit: Wittgenstein, Philosophy, and the Mind” and co-editor of “Intention and Intentionality,” among other books.

In addition to Wulf and Diamond, 51 other new members were elected to the APS, including artist Jasper Johns, photographer Lee Friedlander, literary critic and theorist Gayatri Spivak and legal scholar Lawrence Lessig.

About the American Philosophical Society

The American Philosophical Society supports research, discovery and education through grants and fellowships, lectures, publications, prizes and exhibitions. Its current activities reflect founder Benjamin Franklin’s spirit of inquiry, provide a forum for the free exchange of ideas, and convey its conviction that intellectual inquiry and critical thought are inherently in the best interest of the public.

Early members included George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and James Madison. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, Louis Pasteur, Albert Einstein and Robert Frost were among those elected. The first woman was elected in 1789 — the Russian Princess Dashkova, president of the Imperial Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg. 

Today the Society has 960 elected members — 804 resident members and 156 international members from more than two dozen foreign countries. Since 1900, more than 260 members have received the Nobel Prize. For more information, visit www.amphilsoc.org