2012 Graduation Ceremony Information

Ph.D. & Master's Ceremony Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ruzena Bajcsy

Ruzena Bajcsy, Penn professor emeritus of computer science and engineering, is the director emeritus of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and the NEC Distinguished Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley. With a groundbreaking career as an educator and researcher spanning over five decades, Dr. Bajcsy is recognized as one of the most distinguished and innovative leaders in the computer sciences. Dr. Bajcsy’s seminal research has bridged once discrete disciplines and forged new areas of interdisciplinary study in robotics, artificial intelligence, engineering, and cognitive and applied sciences.

In 2002, Discover magazine named Dr. Bajcsy one of the 50 most important women in science. A champion of women and minorities in the sciences, Dr. Bajcsy has served as advisor to more than 50 PhD recipients during her career. Dr. Bajcsy joined Penn’s faculty in 1972 and was the first woman to serve as chair of Penn’s department of computer and information science. In 1978, Dr. Bajcsy founded Penn’s General Robotics and Active Sensory Perception Laboratory (GRASP), one of the world’s premier robotics research centers. Dr. Bajcsy is also the first woman to head the National Science Foundation’s Computer Information Science and Engineering (CISE) directorate. During her tenure at the NSF, Dr. Bajcsy helped establish the foundation’s Information Technology Research program, which funds innovative, high-impact research supporting infrastructure in information technology. 

Dr. Bajcsy is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Science Institute of Medicine, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2009, Dr. Bajcsy received the Franklin Medal from the Franklin Institute for her innovations in robotics and computer vision, specifically the development of improved robotic perception and the creation of better methods to analyze medical images. A native of Slovakia, Dr. Bajcsy received her master’s and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from Slovak Technical University as well as a PhD in computer science from Stanford University. She is the recipient of honorary degrees from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia and Lehigh University.