Saul Amarel is regarded as the founder of Rutgers Department of Computer Science. He established the department in 1969, along with a core group of fellow researchers from his previous work at RCA Labs. At the time, all matters related to the discipline were under the purview of the Mathematics department. Saul's lifelong interest was in the field of Artificial Intelligence -- a novel concept when he began his work in the mid-1950s. While at RCA Labs, Saul founded the Computer Theory Research Group, focusing on A.I. studies such as control theory, learning systems, and machine learning.
In 1971 he organized the Rutgers Research Resource on Computers in Biomedicine, and in 1977, the Laboratory for Computer Science Research, both of which he directed until 1984. From 1985 to 1988, Amarel served as Director of the Information Sciences and Technology Office for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In 1988, Amarel returned to Rutgers and was appointed the Alan M. Turing Professor of Computer Science, pioneering research in the field of AI.
Amarel received the Allen Newell Award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for his wide-ranging contributions to Artificial Intelligence, especially in advancing our understanding of the role of representation in problem solving, and of the theory and practice of computational planning. He was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 1994.