Bruce Randall Donald
James B. Duke Professor
      of Computer Science and Biochemistry

Duke University

Ph.D. MIT, 1987


Bruce R. Donald is the James B. Duke Professor of Computer Science and Chemistry at Duke University, and Professor of Biochemistry in the Duke University Medical Center. He was named a Fellow of the ACM and Fellow of the IEEE, for contributions in robotics, microelectromechanical Systems, and computational molecular biology. He was elected a Fellow of the AAAS, for contributions in computational molecular biology.

As an undergraduate at Yale University, Bruce Donald studied with Professors Harold Bloom and Victor Erlich. Donald graduated summa cum laude from Yale with a B.A. in Russian Language and Literature in 1980. From 1978-1984, he was a Research Analyst in the Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he worked on Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and computer-aided architectural design. In 1982, he began working under the direction of Professor Tomás Lozano-Pérez at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and received the S.M. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from MIT in 1987.

Donald then joined the faculty of the Cornell University Computer Science Department, where he rose through the ranks to tenure in in 1993. At Cornell, he held a joint appointment in Applied Mathematics. Donald co-founded the Cornell Robotics and Vision Laboratory. He received a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1989. After a decade on the Cornell faculty, Donald joined the Computer Science Department at Dartmouth in 1997, and was named the Joan and Edward Foley Professor in 2003. He moved to Duke in 2006, where he holds a joint appointment as Professor of Computer Science and Biochemistry. Donald was appointed William and Sue Gross Professor from 2006-2012, and was named James B. Duke Professor in 2012. His Erdös number is 3.

Donald has written five books and numerous scientific papers on topics ranging from robotics to physical geometric algorithms, graphics, Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS), computational biology, and structural biology. His most recent book, Algorithms in Structural Molecular Biology, was published by The MIT Press (Cambridge, MA).

He was a visiting professor at Stanford University (1994-96). From 1995-97, Donald worked at Interval Research Corporation (in Palo Alto), where he was co-inventor of Embedded Constraint Graphics (ECG). Donald was conference chair of the International Workshop on Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics (WAFR), 2000. His latest research interest is in computational structural biology and drug design. Professor Donald was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2001, for his work on algorithms for structural molecular biology and proteomics. Donald was a Visiting Scientist at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab and Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (2000-2001).

Former Students and PostDocs from Donald's lab have gone on to found independent careers and successful laboratories of their own; they are listed here.

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Research Interests.

Donald Lab