W. Cannon Lewis II

Rice CS PhD student

Professional-ish photo of Cannon

Research Interests

Generally speaking, I am interested in robotic autonomy. My research incorporates aspects of control theory, statistics, optimization, formal mathematics, and good old computer science. Right now, my research is specifically in the application of reinforcement learning to robotic control and motion planning. Get in touch if you'd like to know more!


You can reach me by email at wcannon<at>rice.edu or in my office at 3055 Duncan Hall.


  • 9/20/19 - A paper that I wrote in undergrad was published as a Rice University technical report! You can access it here.
  • 11/2/18 - I'm excited to finally be able to share that I'm hosting the Rice Computer Science Department podcast, Unconventional Computing. Our first episode is about election security! You can find it on ITunes and Google Play.
  • 06/15/18 - Finally updated the website! Now using Jekyll and Bootstrap, and featuring up-to-date™ personal information.


  1. Lewis, W. Cannon II, Moll, Mark, and Kavraki, Lydia E. "How Much Do Unstated Problem Constraints Limit Deep Robotic Reinforcement Learning?." (2019) https://doi.org/10.25611/az5z-xt37
In Progress
My (award-winning) play reviews are partially archived at the Rice Thresher


Graduate TAing
COMP 321 Introduction to Computer Systems
COMP 450/550 Algorithmic Robotics
Undergraduate TAing
COMP 450/550 Algorithmic Robotics
COMP 311 Functional Programming
COMP 182 Algorithmic Thinking
MATH 355 Linear Algebra
MATH 221/222 Honors Multivariable Calculus III/IV


Fall 2019
Spring 2019
Fall 2018
Spring 2018
Fall 2017


2018 Ken Kennedy Institute Computational Science and Engineering Fellowship
2018 Army Research Lab Summer Journeyman Fellowship
2018 Rice Engineering Alumni Distinguished Research Excellence Award
2018 Rice Engineering Alumni Senior Merit Award in Computer Science
2018 Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium Excellence in Research Award
2017 Rice Undergraduate Scholars Program
2016, 2017 Excellence in Collegiate Journalism - Critical Review
2015 CPRIT Undergraduate Research Fellowship
2014-2018 Rice University President's Honor Roll