• Instructional Assistant Professor
Shawna Thomas

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. in Computer Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 1/02 – 5/10
  • B.S. in Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 8/98 – 12/01

Research Interests

    • Algorithms for Robotic Motion Planning
    • Motion Planning Applications to Computational Biology
    • Computational Geometry

Awards & Honors

  • IBM Ph.D. Fellowship, 2008–2009
  • IBM Fran Allen Ph.D. Fellowship, 2007–2008
  • Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need Fellowship, 2006–2007
  • Philanthropic Educational Organization Scholar Award, 2005–2006
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, 2002–2005
  • Astronaut Scholarship, 2000–2001
  • Lechner Scholarship, Fall 1998–Fall 2001
  • Graduate Research Excellence Award, Department of Computer Science, 2007–2008
  • Mentoring Award, Department of Computer Science, 2007–2008 Undergraduate Research Excellence Award, Department of Computer Science, 2001–2002
  • CRA Distributed Mentor Program Award, Summer 2001
  • University Undergraduate Research Fellow, 2000–2001
  • Best Senior Thesis, Computer Science Group, Spring 2001
  • Best Senior Thesis Presentation, Computer Science Group, Spring 2001
  • Undergraduate Summer Research Grant, Summer 2000
  • Best Presentation, Computer Science Group, Summer 2000

Selected Publications

  • “Fast Collision Detection for Motion Planning using Shape Primitive Skeletons.” Mukulika Ghosh, Shawna Thomas, Nancy M. Amato, in Proc. of the International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics (WAFR), Me ́rida, Me ́xico, December 2018.
  • “Sampling Based Motion Planning with Reachable Volumes for High Degree of Freedom Manipulators.” Troy McMahon, Shawna Thomas, Nancy M. Amato, in the International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR), 37(7):779– 817, Jun 2018.
  • “A General and Flexible Search Framework for Disassembly Planning.” Timothy Ebinger, Sascha Kaden, Shawna Thomas, Robert Andre, Nancy M. Amato, Ulrike Thomas, in Proc. of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Brisbane, QLD, Australia, May 2018.
  • “Decoy Database Improvement for Protein Folding.” Hsin-Yi (Cindy) Yeh, Aaron Lindsey, Chih-Peng Wu, Shawna Thomas, Nancy M. Amato, in Journal of Computational Biology (JCB), 22(9):823–836, September 2015.
  • “MARRT: Medial Axis Biased Rapidly-Exploring Random Trees.” Jory Denny, Evan Greco, Shawna L. Thomas, Nancy M. Amato, in Proc. of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Hong Kong, China, June 2014.
  • “A Scalable Method for Parallelizing Sampling-Based Motion Planning Algorithms.” Sam Ade Jacobs, Kasra Man- avi, Juan Burgos, Jory Denny, Shawna Thomas, Nancy M. Amato, in Proc. of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), St. Paul, Minnesota, May 2012.
  • “A Motion Planning Approach to Studying Molecular Motions.” Lydia Tapia, Shawna Thomas, Nancy M. Amato, in Communications in Information and Systems (CIS), 10(1): 53–68, 2010.
  • “Simulating Protein Motions with Rigidity Analysis.” Shawna Thomas, Xinyu Tang, Lydia Tapia, and Nancy M. Amato, in Journal of Computational Biology (JCB), 14(6): 839–855, July 2007.