Sofia Lemons, M.S., M.A.

Assistant professor of computer science

Email:[email protected]

Department: Computer Science

Location: Center for Science and Technology Room 212
801 National Road
Richmond, Indiana 47374

About me

I was born and raised in Indiana, spent many years studying, working and living in New England and have a passion for algorithms and education. My research revolves around heuristic search and planning, which applies to things like navigation, robotic movement or selecting actions for video game AI characters. I am also interested in the human aspects of computing, such as computer science teaching pedagogies and ways that systemic bias is embedded in algorithm design.

I believe that a liberal arts approach to computer science is a vital part of ensuring that computers work for the good of all of us. I’m excited to engage with Earlham students in computing work that actively integrates our values and reflects an understanding of the impact that computers and humans have on each other.


  • B.S. in Computer Science (Ball State University)
  • M.S. in Computer Science (Ball State University)
  • M.A. in Secondary Teaching (University of New Hampshire)

Professional memberships

Scholarly interest

My research has primarily been on heuristic search and planning, especially making faster algorithms for solving shortest path problems. I’m especially interested in applying these to navigation, logistical planning, and robotics. One area I am also excited to work with students in is algorithmic bias: detecting the reflections of systemic bias in algorithms, examining the effects it has on people, and devising algorithm design practices to combat bias.

Published works

Sofia Lemons, Carlos Linares López, Robert C. Holte, Wheeler Ruml. (2022). Beam Search: Faster and Monotonic. Proceedings of the 32nd International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS 2022).

S. Lemons, J. Benton, W. Ruml, M. Do, and S. Yoon, “Continual On-line Planning as Decision-Theoretic Incremental Heuristic Search” Proceedings of the AAAI 2010 Spring Symposium on Embedded Reasoning

E. Burns, S. Lemons, W. Ruml and R. Zhou, “Best-First Heuristic Search for MulticoreMachines” Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, , 39, pp. 689–743, 2010

E. Burns, S. Lemons, R. Zhou and W. Ruml, “Suboptimal and Anytime HeuristicSearch on Multi-Core Machines” Proceedings of the Seventeeth International Conference onAutomated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS-09)

E. Burns, S. Lemons, R. Zhou, and W. Ruml, “Best-First Heuristic Search forMulti-Core Machines” Proceedings of the Twenty-first International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-09)

We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.