Mykel John Kochenderfer

Mykel Kochenderfer is Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Associate Professor, by courtesy, of Computer Science at Stanford University. He is the director of the Stanford Intelligent Systems Laboratory (SISL), conducting research on advanced algorithms and analytical methods for the design of robust decision making systems. Of particular interest are systems for air traffic control, unmanned aircraft, and automated driving where decisions must be made in uncertain, dynamic environments while maintaining safety and efficiency. Research at SISL focuses on efficient computational methods for deriving optimal decision strategies from high-dimensional, probabilistic problem representations.

Prior to joining the faculty in 2013, he was at MIT Lincoln Laboratory where he worked on airspace modeling and aircraft collision avoidance. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh in 2006 where he studied at the Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour in the School of Informatics. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science from Stanford University in 2003. Prof. Kochenderfer is a co-director of the Center for AI Safety. He is affiliated with the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL), the Human-Centered AI (HAI) Institute, the Symbolic Systems Program, the Bio-X Institute, Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute, and the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS). In 2017, he was awarded the DARPA Young Faculty Award. He is chair of the editorial board of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research and an associate editor of the Journal of Aerospace Information Systems. He is an author of the textbooks Decision Making under Uncertainty: Theory and Application (MIT Press, 2015), Algorithms for Optimization (MIT Press, 2019), and Algorithms for Decision Making (MIT Press, 2022). He is a third-generation pilot.

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Students in SISL come from a variety of departments, such as aeronautics and astronauticscomputer sciencecomputational and mathematical engineering, and mechanical engineering. If you are not yet a student, but are interested in applying, please see the respective admissions pages. If you are admitted, you will be invited to campus for visit day to meet with faculty and tour labs. Postdoctoral research candidates can register interest here.