About Sebastian



Professor Sebastian Thrun pursues research on robotics, artificial intelligence, education, human computer interaction, and medical devices. He founded Google's self driving car team, after winning the DARPA Grand Challenge. Together with Peter Norvig, Thrun developed the first global MOOC with 160,000 students enrolled. Google Scholar ranks Thrun's publication h-index #14 worldwide in all of computer science. Thrun also founded Google X, where he founded Google Glass among many other projects. He was elected into the National Academy of Engineering and the German Academy of Sciences at age 39. Thrun founded and sold a number of tech companies, inluding Udacity (valued at over $1B) and KittyHawk. Fast Company named Thrun the fifth most creative person in business, and Foreign Policy touted him Global Thinker #4. He won numerous awards, including the Max Planck Research Award.

A detailed Curriculum Vitae is also available.

Selected awards and honors

  • 2017 ICAPS Influential Paper award
  • Fat Company 3'rd most innovative education company (for GaTech)
  • UPCEA National Award, outstanding program, credit category, 2017
  • AAAI Classic Paper Award, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), 2017
  • AAAI/EAAI Outstanding Educator Award, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), 2017
  • UPCEA South Region Conference “Program of Excellence” Award, with Georgia Tech and AT&T, for Online Master of Computer Science, 2016
  • The Hottest Startups of 2015, #37, Forbes, 2016
  • Global Impact Award, World Affairs Council, 2015
  • James Smithson Bicentennial Medal from the Smithsonian Institute, 2015
  • TiE50 Top Startup Award, 2015
  • #17 Influential Educator, by Noodle, 2014
  • The Guardian’s Open 20: fighters for internet freedom, 2014
  • GABA Award of Excellence, 2014
  • ALVA Award by 99U, 2013
  • The Guardian's Open 20: fighters for internet freedom, 2012
  • Global Thinker #4 by Foreign Policy, 2012
  • Smithsonian Ingenuity Award, 2012
  • The Next Establishment by Vanity Fair, 2012
  • Initiative of 2012 Award, by Chip
  • Top 100 Scientists on Twitter, 2012
  • Huffington Post Best of TED 2011 (#15)
  • Fast Company Fifth most creative person in business, 2011
  • Inaugural AAAI Ed Feigenbaum Prize, 2011.
  • Max Planck Research Award, 2011.
  • Crunchie (Annual awards by TechCrunch), Best Technology Achievement, 2011.
  • Time Magazine, The 50 Best Inventions of 2010
  • IEEE ITSS Distinguished Researcher Award, 2010.
  • Smartest People in Tech, Academic Runner-Up, Fortune, 2010.
  • Braunschweig Research Prize, 2007.
  • Member, Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (German Academy of Sciences).
  • Member, National Academy of Engineering, 2007.
  • Scientific American 50 (list of 50 technology and policy leaders), 2006.
  • World Technology Award (Category: IT Software), also World Technology Network Fellow; 2006.
  • Elected ECCAI Fellow, 2006.
  • Elected AAAI Fellow, 2006.
  • Forbes Magazine "E-Gang" (list of 7 technology leaders), 2006.
  • Vance D. and Arlene C. Coffman Endowed Faculty Scholar, 2006.
  • Team Leader of the team that won the DARPA Grand Challenge.
  • "Brilliant Ten" by Popular Science, 2005.
  • Best paper award, International Conference of Field and Service Robotics (FSR), 2003.
  • Best paper award, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2003.
  • Best paper award, Second International Joint Confernce on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS), 2003.
  • Finmeccanica Endowed Chair, School of Computer Science, CMU, 2002.
  • Olympus Award of the German Society for Pattern Recognition (DAGM), 2001.
  • DARPA Distinguished Contractor Award, 2001.
  • Best paper award, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2000.
  • Best paper award, German Conference of the Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft fuer Mustererkennung (German Society for Pattern Recognition), 1999.
  • NSF CAREER Award, March 1999--February 2003.
  • Best paper award, National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), 1998.
Check out Sebastian's Scientific Genealogy, from the Mathematics Genealogy Project.

Travel

  • A B-17 Flight (images from a 2009 flight on a B-17).

  • Chile (images from a 2009 trip to Chile).

  • Seoul + Mt Fuji (images from a 2003 trip to Asia).

  • New Zealand (images from a 2003 trip to New Zealand).

  • sabbatical.thrun.org (images from my sabbatical).

  • lyon.thrun.org (29 images from a recent trip to Lyon)

  • peru.thrun.org (185 images from a recent trip to Peru)

  • mexico.thrun.org (82 images from a recent trip to Mexico)

  • brazil.thrun.org (97 images from a recent trip to Brazil)

  • israel.thrun.org (40 images from a recent trip to Israel)

  • paris.thrun.org (15 images from a recent trip to Paris)