Radhika Nagpal

Interview Location: United States


Radhika Nagpal is the Fred Kavli Professor of Computer Science, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University. She was born in the United States while her father studied for his doctorate at Georgia Tech and grew up in Amritsar, India. Nagpal received her S.B. and S.M. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 1994 and her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, also from MIT, in 2001. She completed a dissertation titled “Programmable Self-Assembly using Biologically-Inspired Local Interactions.”

Nagpal is known for her work in biologically inspired multi agent systems, including swarm robotics and bio inspired robot design, decentralized collective algorithms, and global to local abstraction as well as Biological Multi-Agent systems, including models of multicellular morphogenesis and collective insect behavior.

Nagpal has received many awards and honors including; the National Talent Search Scholarship Award, India, 1987; AT&T Bell Labs Graduate Fellowship Award for Women (GRPW), 1995-2001; Microsoft New Facility Fellowship, 2005; NSF Career Award, 2007; Anita Borg Early Career Award (BECA), 2010; Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Award, (2012; McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising, Harvard, 2015; Science Top 10 Breakthroughs, Science, 2014; Natre 10 Award: Top ten scientists and engineers who mattered, Nature, Dec. 2014; TED Speaker, Annual TED Conference, Vancouver, Apr. 2017