Lydia Kavraki

Lydia Kavraki

Rice University, Texas

United States

Research Areas

Automation, Computing and Electronics, Robots


Lydia Kavraki is the Noah Harding Professor of Computer Science at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Originally from Greece, Kavraki studied for her Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science at the University of Crete, later moving to the United States to earn her Ph.D. in the field at Stanford. Kavraki’s research has contributed to various subsidies in the robotics field, from physical algorithms to biomedical informatics. At Rice University, Kavraki is also a professor of Bioengineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. She also has her own laboratory at the university, dedicated to research in Computational Robotics and Biomedicine. Kavraki is a recipient of the 2000 of the Grace Ann Hooper Award, 2001 winner of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Academic Career Award, 2020 winner of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Pioneer Award and the 2020 ACM-AAAI Allan Newell Award.

This Oral History takes us through the university education and professional career of Professor Lydia Kavraki. Kavraki offers her experience growing up and studying in Greece and moving to America to continue pursuing her education. She then speaks to her accomplishments in research and her career in academia at Rice University. Lydia also talks about her many awards and honors, and her efforts to bring women to the forefront of the Robotics field. Lastly, Kavraki touches upon her network of colleagues and the many great relationships she has formed throughout her career, and her thoughts on the future of the Computer Science and Robotics fields.

Interview Synopsis

LYDIA KAVRAKI: An Interview Conducted by Selma Šabanović, IEEE History Center, 24 January 2015

Interview #803 for Indiana University and the IEEE History Center, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.