Michael “Fuzzy” Mauldin

Photo of Michael "Fuzzy" Mauldin by Daniel Longmire of BattleBots, Inc

Photo of Michael “Fuzzy” Mauldin by Daniel Longmire of BattleBots, Inc.

The Rice University Computer Science alumnus and inventor of Lycos only went to college to get a good job.

Michael “Fuzzy” Mauldin (Sid Rich, 1981) said, “That was my goal and my parental directive. In high school, I was good at three things: math, physics, and debate, and that suggested becoming a mathematician, a physicist, or a lawyer.

“When I got to Rice, I took CS classes and Math classes. I almost failed Calculus because I was having more fun –and was too busy– in my compiler class. At that point, I had no future agenda, I just got caught up in the idea of computers talking with humans in English, like the movie Space Odyssey: 2001 and ELIZA, the natural-language computer processing program published in 1964.”

He went on to earn his Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University and retired before reaching age 40, after inventing both Lycos and Julia–an early chatterbot.

These days, Mauldin spends his time ranching and exploring the wilds of Utah in his Jeep. He also designs fighting robots.

“Everything about the Internet is more complicated than when I learned it. Now I’m more concerned about speed control for my robot. Should I be considering the move from brushed to brushless motors?”

Read the rest of his Rice CS Alumni Profile: https://www.cs.rice.edu/fuzzy


For the Innovation Today and Tomorrow session on Friday, October 11, Fuzzy will be showing off TreadBot. TreadBot photographs by Michael “Fuzzy” Mauldin.