Patrick Henry Winston is an American computer scientist, and is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Winston was director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory from 1972 to 1997, succeeding Marvin Minsky, who left to found the MIT Media Lab and succeeded by Rodney Brooks. Brooks later merged the lab with the MIT Lab for Computer Science, forming the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).
Winston's thesis work with Marvin Minsky concerned the difficulty of learning; he concluded it was only possible to learn something one nearly already knows. He is active in research and interested in machine learning and human intelligence. Winston also teaches "The Human Intelligence Enterprise" course which covers AI and effective communicate strategies. Winston is known within the MIT community for his strong commitment to supporting MIT undergraduate culture. He is also an avid woodworker having made all the furniture in his office.
Winston currently teaches 6.034: Artificial Intelligence and 6.803/6.833: Human Intelligence Enterprise. Winston is also a (co-)author of a number of CS and AI textbooks, including:
He is also an alumnus of the Mass Gamma chapter of Phi Delta Theta.