Ken Goldberg is a professor of industrial engineering and operations research (IEOR), with an appointment in electrical engineering and computer science, at UC Berkeley, and the former director of CITRIS People and Robots (CPAR). He received his Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in 1990 and studied at the University of Pennsylvania, Edinburgh University and the Technion. From 1991–95 he taught at the University of Southern California, and in fall 2000 was visiting faculty at MIT Media Lab.
Goldberg and his students work in two areas: geometric algorithms for automation, and networked robots. In the first category, he develops algorithms for feeding, sorting and fixturing industrial parts, with an emphasis on mathematically rigorous solutions that require a minimum of sensing and actuation so as to reduce costs and increase reliability. In the area of networked robots, Goldberg and colleagues developed the first robot publicly operable via the internet in 1994. He has published over 100 research papers and edited four books.
In 2004, Goldberg co-founded the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, and he is founding chair of its advisory board. Goldberg was named a National Science Foundation Young Investigator in 1994 and an NSF presidential faculty fellow in 1995. He is the recipient of the Joseph Engelberger Award (2000) and the IEEE Major Educational Innovation Award (2001), and he was elected an IEEE fellow in 2005.
Goldberg previously served as faculty director for the CITRIS Data and Democracy initiative. The mission of the initiative was to advance information and communications technologies such as mobile applications and social media that allow individuals of all backgrounds to enhance their individual and collective awareness, participation, discovery and decision-making related to critical civic and societal issues. The Data and Democracy initiative collaborated with the UC Santa Cruz Center for Games and Playable Media, UC Berkeley’s Center for New Media (BCNM), the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center, the CITRIS Social Apps Lab, and the Algorithms, Machines, and People (AMP) Lab along with companies, government and nonprofit organizations.