Lydia E. Kavraki: Biographical Sketch

Lydia E. Kavraki is the Noah Harding Professor of Computer Science, professor of Bioengineering, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and professor of Mechanical Engineering at Rice University. She received her B.A. in Computer Science from the University of Crete in Greece and her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University. Her research contributions are in physical algorithms and their applications in robotics (robot motion planning, hybrid systems, formal methods in robotics, assembly planning, micromanipulation, and flexible object manipulation), as well as in computational structural biology, translational bioinformatics, and biomedical informatics (modeling of proteins and biomolecular interactions, large-scale functional annotation of proteins, computer-assisted drug design, and the integration of biological and biomedical data for improving human health).

Kavraki has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications and is one of the authors of the widely-used robotics textbook titled “Principles of Robot Motion” published by MIT Press. Work in her group during the last five years has produced the Open Motion Planning Library (OMPL), an open-source library of motion planning algorithms. The library is heavily used in industry and in academia both for robotics and bioinformatics applications. Kavraki currently serves as an associate editor of the International Journal of Robotics Research, the ACM/IEEE Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, the Computer Science Review, Big Data, Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, and the Annual Reviews for Robotics, Control, and Autonomous Systems. She is also a member of the editorial advisory board of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics and the new IEEE Letters in Robotics and Automation. Kavraki served as the program chair (2014) and as the general chair (2015) of “Robotics: Science and Systems,” the premier robotics conference.

Kavraki received the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Grace Murray Hopper Award in 2000. She has also received an NSF CAREER award, a Sloan Fellowship, a Whitaker Investigator Award, the Early Academic Career Award from the IEEE Society on Robotics and Automation, a recognition as a top TR100 investigator from the MIT Technology Review Magazine, a recognition as a Brilliant 10 Scientist from the Popular Science Magazine, and the Charles Duncan Award for excellence in research and teaching from Rice University. Kavraki is a Fellow of ACM, a Fellow of IEEE, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and a Fellow of the World Technology Network (WTN). She has recently been recognized with BioHouston’s Women in Science Award and the Anita Borg ABIE Technical Leadership Award. In 2017 Kavraki received the ACM Athena Lecturer Award. Kavraki is a member of the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST) and a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

Current projects at Kavraki's laboratory are described under

A picture that can used for seminar announcements is below: