Vince Kurtz

Postdoctoral Scholar, California Institute of Technology


Hi, I’m Vince! I’m interested in applying mathematical models to solve real-world problems. Recently, that’s meant developing optimization-based planning and control algorithms for high-degree-of-freedom robots like quadrupeds and manipulators.

Sometimes my research involves flashy things like throwing robots off ladders to get them to land on their feet: other times it’s more mundane, like getting a robot to pick up a plastic box.

I’m currently a postdoc at Caltech, where I split time between the Ames and Burdick groups. From 2017-2023 I was a PhD student in the DISCOVER lab at Notre Dame. During my PhD, I had the opportunity to collaborate with the Drake team at Toyota Research Institute. Before grad school, I studied physics and violin performance at Goshen College.


Sep 2023 Started postdoc at Caltech
May 2023 Graduated from Notre Dame
Jun 2022 Summer internship at Toyota Research Institute in Boston
Oct 2021 Falling cat paper featured in IEEE Spectrum
Oct 2019 Best interactive paper award at Humanoids 2019

Selected Publications


  1. dual_jaco.png
    Inverse Dynamics Trajectory Optimization for Contact-Implicit Model Predictive Control
    Vince Kurtz, Alejandro Castro, Aykut Özgün Önol, and 1 more author
    arXiv preprint, 2023
  2. atlas_cover_pic.png
    Temporal Logic Motion Planning with Convex Optimization via Graphs of Convex Sets
    Vince Kurtz, and Hai Lin
    IEEE Transactions on Robotics (T-RO), 2023