Deep Blue has its roots in a chess-playing computer called ChipTest, and its successor Deep Thought, which were developed by Feng-hsiung Hsu and Murray Campbell at Carnegie Mellon University. They later joined IBM, and became part of the larger team that developed the Deep Blue supercomputer.
Dr. C. J. Tan received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Seattle University in 1963, and his PhD in engineering science from Columbia University in New York in 1969. Tan joined the T. J. Watson Research Center in 1969 as a research staff member. He joined the Deep Blue development team in 1992 as senior manager. He served as the primary spokesman and resident philosopher of the Deep Blue team. Tan was also involved in research programs in the areas of architecture development and machine design for highly parallel scalable systems. His department was responsible for the communication subsystem architecture definition and instrumental in the design of the IBM RS/6000 Scalable POWERparallel Systems® SP. Tan was also a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), IEEE and the ACM Computer Chess Committee.
Dr. Murray Campbell received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computing science from the University of Alberta in 1981. He specialized in parallel search in the context of chess, a discipline that served him well in developing massively parallel computers like Deep Blue. He left Canada to enroll at Carnegie Mellon University, where he received his PhD in 1987 for his work on chunking as an abstraction mechanism in solving complex problems. At Carnegie Mellon he met a fellow doctoral student named Feng-hsiung Hsu, who had developed a single-chip chess move generator. The two teamed up in the autumn of 1986 to construct a chess-playing computer, ChipTest, which eventually evolved into Deep Blue. Both Campbell and Hsu joined IBM in 1989. Campbell’s main role on the team was the development of the evaluation function—the component of Deep Blue that assesses the value of the current position. He was the recipient of an IBM Outstanding Innovation Award for his work on the Deep Blue project. Campbell is still with IBM today, in the role of senior manager in the Business Analytics and Mathematical Sciences Department within IBM Research.
Dr. Feng-hsiung Hsu received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from National Taiwan University, and a PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon for architectural work on chess machines and research on parallel alpha-beta search algorithms. In 1988, while still completing his graduate studies, he won the Fredkin Intermediate Prize for constructing the first computer to achieve a grandmaster level rating. He joined IBM in 1989 and continued work on his chess-playing computer with a team of IBM research scientists. This became Deep Blue. Hsu’s day-to-day activities on the Deep Blue project included hardware implementation and testing, and the maintenance of the evaluation function.
Joseph Hoane Jr.
Joe Hoane attended the University of Illinois, Urbana, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1984. He received a master’s degree in computer science from Columbia University in New York in 1994. Hoane joined the Deep Blue development team in November 1990. Before being recruited for the project, his previous efforts at IBM Research included work on Research Parallel Processor Prototype (RP3) and network simulation for parallel processors to understand the communications overhead. He had also designed a custom-enabled compiler for a database system. As the software engineer of the Deep Blue project, Hoane was in charge of developing the algorithms behind the computer’s incredible search capacity.
Jerry Brody joined IBM Research in 1978. During his tenure at the T. J. Watson Research Center, he had the opportunity to work on a variety of groundbreaking projects, including the Research Parallel Processor Prototype (RP3); the Yorktown Simulation Engine (YSE), a logic simulation machine; and the IBM 801 machine, IBM’s first RISC processor. Brody was recruited into the Deep Blue project in 1990 as a support engineer. Among other duties on the Deep Blue development team, Brody was responsible for microchannel card de-bugging and system design.
In 1977, at the age of 13, Joel became the first person to break Bobby Fischer’s record, becoming the youngest US Master to that time. In 1980, he became an International Master. In 1985, Benjamin graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in history. He became an International Grandmaster in 1986, and was voted “Grandmaster of the Year” by the US Chess Federation in 1998. According to Wikipedia, as of April 2007, his Elo rating was 2576, making him the number 12 player in the US and the 214th-highest rated player in the world. Benjamin worked briefly with the IBM Deep Blue team in their preparation for the match that took place in Philadelphia in February 1996, and then worked with the team for several months in 1996 and ‘97, coaching Deep Blue in preparation for the rematch.