Scientific American Guest Blog
The Awesomest 7-Year Postdoc or:
How I Learned to Stop Worrying
and Love the Tenure-Track Faculty Life.
Fred Kavli Professor of Computer Science
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering
New! We just finished a successful Kickstarter, featuring ROOT, the robot that teaches coding to all ages, from 4 to 99! Click on the link to see our project or pre-order your own robot.
Research Interests: My group is interested in engineering and understanding self-organizing collective systems; we investigate many topics on the border of CS and biology. Two main areas are: (1) Biologically-inspired multi-agent systems: collective algorithms, programming paradigms, modular and swarm robotics (2) Biological multi-agent systems: models of multicellular morphogenesis, collective insect behavior. For more about our lab: SSR website.
I am a Professor in Computer Science, at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. I am also a Core Faculty Member of the Harvard Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, where I co-lead the BioRobotics Platform. Before becoming faculty, I spent a year as a Research Fellow in the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. I received my PhD and was a Postdoc Lecturer at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), as a member of the Amorphous Computing Group supported by the Bell Labs GRPW Fellowship. I am grateful to have received the Microsoft New Faculty Fellowship (2005), NSF Career Award (2007), Anita Borg Early Career Award (2010), and the Radcliffe Fellowship (2012). Most recently, I was named as one of the Nature 10: Top ten scientists and engineers of 2014, by the journal Nature (Dec 2014). I am co-founder of an educational robotics company (Scansorial, 2016) that created the Root Robot.
I am also the author of a blog article on tenure-track life (7 year postdoc), the advisor for the Harvard Women-in-CS group (WICS), and a strong advocate for a nurturing and inclusive culture in science. I am honored to have received the McDonald Mentoring Award, and to have a large network of mentees and peers who care about these same issues. Outside of research, I enjoy the arts (dance, music, and painting) and our Indian+Caribbean cultures with my husband and two teenagers.
Teaching: I am on sabbatical this year (Fall 2016 and Spring 2017)
Office Hours: By appointment only during sabbatical. If you are a member of Harvard WICS/GIIM, or working on science culture issues, or would just like to meet to talk about being a women academic or technologist, feel free to send me email and we can set up a time. (note: I do not check email over the weekend)
33 Oxford Street, room 235 (Maxwell-Dworkin Bldg), Cambridge MA 02138.
rad at eecs harvard edu