Sebastian Thrun

Computer Scientist

1967 –


Who is Sebastian Thrun?

Sebastian Burkhard Thrun is an educator, programmer, robotics developer and computer scientist from Germany. He is CEO and cofounder of Udacity, an institution he cofounded with David Stavens and Mike Sokolsky. He is a Google VP and Fellow, and a part-time Research Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University.

Thrun led development of the robotic vehicle Stanley which won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, and which has since been placed on exhibit in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. His team also developed a vehicle called Junior, which placed second at the DARPA Urban Challenge in 2007. Thrun led the development of the Google self-driving car.

Thrun is also known for his work on probabilistic programming techniques in robotics, with applications including robotic mapping. In recognition of his contributions, and at age 39, Thrun was elected into the National Academy of Engineering and also into the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 2007. In 2011, Thrun received the Max-Planck-Research Award. and the inaugural AAAI Ed Feigenbaum Prize. Fast Company selected Thrun as the fifth most creative person in business in the world.

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May 14, 1967
  • Germany
  • United States of America
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Hildesheim
    Computer Science and Engineering; Medicine
    ( - 1988)
  • Economics
  • Master of Science, University of Bonn
    Computer Science and Engineering; Statistics
    ( - 1993)
  • Computer science and statistics
  • Doctorate, University of Bonn
    Computer Science and Engineering; Statistics
    ( - 1995)
  • Computer science and statistics
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Hildesheim
    Computer Science
    ( - 1988)
  • Carnegie Mellon University
    (1995 - 1998)
  • Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
    (1998 - 2003)
  • Senior Advisor, Charles River Ventures
    (2009 - )
  • Principal Engineer, Google
    (2007 - 2009)
  • Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Stanford University
    (2007 - 2012)
  • Associate Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University
    (2003 - 2007)
  • Udacity
    (2012 - )
Lived in
  • Solingen
  • United States of America

on July 23, 2013


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