Mark Fox received his BSc in Computer Science from the University of Toronto in 1975, and his PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1983. In 1979 he was a founding member of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, as well as the founding director of the Institute’s Intelligent Systems Laboratory. In 1984, he co-founded Carnegie Group Inc., a software company that specialized in Artificial Intelligence-based systems for solving engineering, manufacturing, and telecommunications problems; he was its Vice-President of Engineering and President/CEO. In 1988 he was the founding director of the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Decision Systems at Carnegie Mellon.
In 1991, Professor Fox returned to the University of Toronto, where he was appointed the NSERC Research Chairholder in Enterprise Integration, and Professor of Industrial Engineering and Computer Science. In 1992, he was appointed Director of the Collaborative Program in Integrated Manufacturing. In 1993, Professor Fox co-founded and was CEO for Novator Systems Ltd., a pioneer in e-retail software and services. From 1994-98 he represented Canada on the Intelligent Manufacturing Systems Global Program Scientific Committee. In 2013, he was appointed a Senior Fellow of the Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto and an Academic Advisor to the iCity Lab at Singapore Management University. In 2014, he was the founding director of the Centre for Social Services Engineering in the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Engineering. The goal of this centre is to apply engineering principles to the design and delivery of social services.
Professor Fox's early research pioneered the application of Organization Theory to the design of distributed systems, contributing to the formation of the fields of Multi-Agent Systems and Coordination Theory. His scheduling research resulted in the creation of the field of Constraint-Directed Scheduling within Artificial Intelligence, as well as several commercially successful scheduling systems and companies. Professor Fox also pioneered the application of Artificial Intelligence to project management, simulation and engineering design. He designed one of the first commercial industrial applications of expert systems: a steam turbine and generator diagnostic system for Westinghouse, which received the IR100 Award in 1985. It is still in commercial use today at Siemens, monitoring over 1000 turbines and generators worldwide.
Professor Fox was co-creator of the schema representation language from which Knowledge Craft™, a commercial knowledge engineering tool, was derived, and KBS, from which several commercial knowledge-based simulation tools, including Simulation Craft™, were derived. He co-developed the primary methodology used globally for designing ontologies based on Competency Questions and led the well-known TOVE (TOronto Virtual Enterprise) project, which developed ontologies for modelling the structure, resources and behaviour of enterprises. His current research focuses on the application of ontologies and common-sense reasoning to Smart Cities. He has developed ontologies for the representation of city information and knowledge which are being adopted by cities around the world.
Mark Fox has also contributed to the development of new curricula throughout his career. He co-founded the Manufacturing Master’s Program at Carnegie Mellon University and played a major role in the redesign of U of T’s Industrial Engineering undergraduate curriculum. He served as program director of the Graduate Collaborative Program in Integrated Manufacturing from 1993-2000. Professor Fox played an integral role in the development of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering’s Hatchery, a program dedicated to developing engineering entrepreneurs. He is currently a member of its advisory committee. In conjunction with Professor Enid Slack, Professor Fox created the course "Big Data and Global Cities". First taught in the Munk School in 2014, it is now offered as part of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering’s Elite program.
Professor Fox was elected a Fellow of Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) in 1991, a Joint Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and PRECARN in 1992 and a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC) in 2009. He received the EIC’s Canadian Pacific Railway Medal in 2011. He is a past AAAI councillor, and co-founder of the AAAI Special Interest Group in Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing. Professor Fox has published over 200 papers, which have been cited more than 13,000 times.