Lydia E. Kavraki, PhD
Director, Ken Kennedy Institute
"my last name"

Lydia E. Kavraki is the Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute. She 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.

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 interests span robotics, AI, and biomedicine. In robotics and AI, she develops algorithms for motion planning, machine learning and data science methods for reasoning under uncertainty, and multi-modal frameworks to instruct robots and collaborate with them. In computational biomedicine, she develops robotics-inspired methods for understanding bimolecular interactions and for medicinal drug discovery. Kavraki is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Academy of Athens. She is a recipient of the Presidential Mentorship Award and the Outstanding Faculty Research Award at Rice University, the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award, the ACM Athena Lecturer Award, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Pioneer Award, and the ACM-AAAI Allen Newell Award.


Angela Wilkins, PhD
Executive Director, Ken Kennedy Institute

Angela Wilkins is the Executive Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute. Angela is responsible for the development and implementation of Ken Kennedy Institute’s programs in the computational sciences. After earning a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Lehigh University, she shifted her focus to computational biology and spent nine years at Baylor College of Medicine as a researcher and instructor. She later served as director of clinical research at the nonprofit Center for Science & Law, and in 2017 founded a start-up to help early stage companies solve data science problems. She was previously chief scientist of Mercury Fund, a Houston venture capital group, advising on artificial intelligence-related investments. Wilkins holds four patents, has been involved in several federally funded projects and has been published extensively.



Michelle Atkinson

Program Administrator


Meredith Westover

Administrative Assistant

The Rice Ken Kennedy Institute is located on the campus of Rice University inside Duncan Hall. Click the map below for directions.

Rice Map

For additional information, contact us at:

Rice University
Ken Kennedy Institute
6100 Main Street, MS39
Houston, Texas 77005

phone: 713-348-5823