Radhika Nagpal

Radhika Nagpal
Professor of Robotics
Norman R. Augustine '57 *59 Professor in Engineering
Ph. D., MIT, 2001
Other Affiliations
Computer Science


F316 Engineering Quadrangle

Faculty Assistant

Emma Kruse

Research Areas

Short Bio

​I am a Professor in Robotics at Princeton University, joint between the departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Computer Science (2022-present). Prior to joining Princeton I was the Fred Kavli Professor of Computer Science at Harvard University and a founding Faculty Member of the Harvard Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. 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 (CSAIL) supported by the Bell Labs GRPW Fellowship (1995-2001).

I am grateful to have received the Microsoft New Faculty Fellowship (2005), NSF Career Award (2007), Anita Borg Early Career Award (2010), Radcliffe Fellowship (2012), and be an invited TED Speaker (2017), a AAAI Fellow (2020) and an ACM Fellow (2020). In 2014, I was chosen for the Nature 10 Award, given to the top ten influential scientists and engineers by the journal Nature (Dec 2014). In 2017, I co-founded ROOT Robotics, an educational robotics company aimed at democratizing coding, AI, and robotics through early education; Root was acquired by iRobot (2019). Our lab's Kilobots have also been commercialized by K-Team Inc and over 8000 robots have been sold worldwide. I was an Amazon Scholar (2020-21), working on algorithms for warehouse multi-robot systems.

​I am also the author of a popular Scientific American blog article on tenure-track life (The Awesomest 7-year Postdoc), the founding advisor for the Harvard Women-in-CS Club (WiCS), a founding ally member of the Black-in-Robotics Boston Chapter (BiR), and an advocate for a nurturing culture and gender/racial equity in academia and STEM. 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. I work on many diversity and equity issues within Robotics/CS/Academia; you can read more about this on my Activism page.