Ruzena Bajcsy received her first Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the Slovak Technical University, Bratislava in 1967. In October 1967, she received a fellowship from Stanford University to study Artificial Intelligence with Professor J. McCarthy, and she there completed a second Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1972. After this, she accepted a faculty position in the Computer and Information Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia where she continued working in the general area of Machine Perception, including 3D shape recognition by vision and touch. In 1983 she introduced a new research paradigm, called Active Perception, which connects perception with action. Her recent research themes include the investigation of cooperative behaviours amongst machines and humans. The GRASP laboratory which she has built up at the University of Pennsylvania now enjoys a worldwide reputation.

Among many other professional services, Ruzena Bajcsy was the general chair, together with Shimon Ullman, of the 2nd International Conference on Computer Vision in 1988, and Program Chair of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence 1993. She is a founding fellow of AAAI, fellow of IEEE, and she was recently elected to the organization board of the Computer Research Association (CRA) representing all the Ph.D. departments in North America.