Wheeler Ruml

Picture of Wheeler Ruml and a robot, taken October 2012 Greetings!

I am a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of New Hampshire. Before joining UNH in 2007, I managed the Embedded Reasoning Area and was a member of the research staff at the Palo Alto Research Center (formerly Xerox PARC). I received my PhD from Harvard University in 2002. A full CV is here. A picture of me when not under attack by a robot is here.

Research Interests

My main research is in artificial intelligence, although I also have interests in robotics, operations research, information visualization, and cognitive science. Very broadly, my goal is to understand how to build autonomous systems - for example, how a robot should decide what to do next. I'm also interested in decision support systems and in natural examples of cognition, such as humans. My current focus is on methods for heuristic search and planning, especially in robotics. In particular, I am interested in solving problems quickly (rational time-bounded decision-making) and in how on-line learning can inform optimization algorithms. I also enjoy experimental algorithmics.

Almost all of my papers are available on-line (also includes some talks and tutorials). Please help yourself!

I'm always happy to collaborate with people inside and outside of UNH on topics involving my research interests. Just send me email to set up a time to talk. If you are at UNH, you might want to check out the UNH AI Group wiki and join the group. Information is also available about robotics at UNH and data science at UNH.

If you are considering applying to UNH for graduate school or an internship, please consult my information for prospective students.


The Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research serves the public interest by disseminating rigorously peer-reviewed science freely to all. To learn more about open access, here is one place to start.

The International Symposium on Combinatorial Search (SoCS) provides a forum for research on combinatorial search and heuristic optimization. While AI is heavily represented, work from robotics, CP, OR, and algorithms is very welcome.

The International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS) provides a forum for research on all kinds of problems in planning and associated functions such as execution management.

Ethan Burns wrote a nice plotting library. It's written in Go. Previously, he and Jordan Thayer wrote a plotting program in OCaml. Either of these is much better than gnuplot!

Jordan has some nice visualizations of heuristic search, suitable for classroom use.

Current Teaching

Spring 2018: CS 730/830 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

Fall 2017: CS 758/858 Algorithms
CS 980 Planning for Robots

If you're looking for an informal way to learn about AI, feel free to drop in at the UNH AI Group meetings.

Contact Information

Email is definitely the best way to reach me: myfourletterlastname at cs.unh.edu. Unfortunately, I've had to start using a spam filter, so in the unlikely event that I don't respond within a couple of days, please feel free to ping me again or give me a call.

Phone: +1-603-862-2683
Fax: +1-603-862-3493 (shared, so please use a cover page and let me know that you sent something)

Skype or Google+ Hangouts are also an option, but please confirm with me first as I'm not always signed in.

Postal mail, express mail, couriers:
UNH Computer Science
Kingsbury Hall
33 Academic Way
Durham, NH 03824-2619 USA

UNH CS on Google Maps.

If you're on campus, my office is Kingsbury N215D. My office hours for fall 2017 are Mondays 2-3pm, but feel free to email me to set up a meeting time.

If you're not on campus but wish you were, the UNH Alumni Association operates a controllable webcam. There are also several in nearby Portsmouth, and one on Route 4 towards Newington.


My last name is pronounced `RUM-uhl' (rhymes with `pummel').

Here is a list of things I would recommend.

Some photographs I've taken are posted here.

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