George Pappas

Interview Location: United States

Interview Synopsis

In this interview, George Pappas discusses his work in robotics, in particular his work at RPI, UC Berkeley, and Penn. He describes the environment of his education and workplaces, and the various collaborations and influences he experienced, as well as the problems and projects he researched. Additionally he reflects on the evolution of robotics throughout his career, its future applications and challenges, and impact on society.


George Pappas was born in New York to Greek parents. At five he returned to Greece, where he completed primary education before returning to the United States for his undergraduate and graduate education. He studied Computer and Systems Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, earning his BS and MS in 1991 and 1992, respectively. In 1998 he received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley. Pappas is currently the Joseph Moore Professor and Chair of the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as holds positions in the Departments of Computer and Information Sciences, and Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics. He is also a member of the GRASP lab and the PRECISE Center. Prior to his current appointment at UPenn, he served as the Deputy Dean for Research in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Pappas' research interests include control theory, hybrid and embedded systems, control systems, UAVs, and distributed robotics. For his work he has received several awards and honors, including the Antonio Ruberti Young Researcher Prize, the George S. Axelby Award, and the NSF PECASE.