Lydia E. Kavraki
Rice University, USA

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 is the Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute at Rice.

Kavraki 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 develops algorithmic and statistical methods as well as computational tools to solve problems in biology and medicine with particular emphasis on the analysis of the molecular mechanisms of drug action and drug response. Kavraki is also known for her pioneering work in robotics, and in particular robot motion planning, and she is pursuing the development of robotics technologies for the improvement of medical care and human health. Her research blends her extensive interdisciplinary background in computer science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, bioengineering and biomedical sciences promoting the convergence of these disciplines. Kavraki has authored more than 240 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. Her group develops and distributes the Open Motion Planning Library (OMPL).

Kavraki is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas (TAMEST), and a corresponding member of the Academy of Athens. She received the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Grace Murray Hopper Award in 2000 and the ACM Athena Lecturer Award in 2017. In 2020, she was recognized by the IEEE Robotics and Automation Pioneer Award. She has also received 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 Anita Borg ABIE Technical Leadership Award. At Rice University, she is the recipient of the Charles Duncan Award for Excellence in Research and Teaching, the Presidential Mentorship Award and the Outstanding Faculty Research Award. In Houston, she is the recipient of BioHouston’s Women in Science Award. Kavraki is a Fellow of ACM, a Fellow of IEEE, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.