Towner Prize Winner

Jana Pavlasek

ROB 102: Intro to AI & Programming

Jana Pavlasek is a remarkable doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan, where she has emerged as a leading figure in robotics research and education. With a background enriched by prior research engagements at McGill University and internships at Clearpath Robotics, Jana embarked on her doctoral journey in Robotics at Michigan under the guidance of Professor Odest Chadwicke Jenkins. Her work in distributed methods for probabilistic inference has positioned her as a trailblazer in the field, offering promising avenues for the realization of autonomous robotic systems capable of intricate tasks in diverse environments. Beyond her research accolades, Jana’s impact extends to the realm of education, where she has played a pivotal role in shaping the Robotics Major for undergraduates at Michigan. Her dedication to teaching excellence is evident in her leadership of Robotics 102, an introductory course she co-instructs, designed to inspire students and provide early exposure to AI and robotics. Jana’s commitment to equity and inclusion is exemplified through her efforts in establishing Distributed Teaching Collaboratives with Minority Serving Institutions, reflecting her vision of fostering a more diverse and accessible landscape in robotics education. With her exceptional academic achievements, mentoring skills, and steadfast dedication to fostering inclusive innovation, Jana epitomizes the spirit of academic leadership and is positioned to drive significant advancements in the field of robotics.