Rowan to Host Speaker on Robotics

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The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering at Rowan University are co-sponsoring a presentation by Dr. Ayanna Howard, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering at Rowan University are co-sponsoring a presentation by Dr. Ayanna Howard, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, on Monday, December 13, 11 a.m. in Betty Long Rowan Lecture Hall, Rowan Hall (Engineering building).

Howard will speak on ?Applying Human-Based Intelligence Techniques to Space Robotics,? providing an overview of perception and reasoning techniques used in robotics research at NASA?s JPL. She will cover recent research focused on the use of fuzzy logic methods for rover navigation, neural networks to assess natural environmental characteristics, and human-robotic interaction systems for habitat construction.

Howard received her bachelor?s degree in electrical engineering from Brown University, her master?s in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California, and her doctorate in electrical engineering/computer science from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

During her career, she has been a key leader in the development of two artificial intelligence (AI) packages that utilize genetic algorithms and neural networks to solve real-world problems. She has published more than 50 written works on the successful use of AI techniques in a number of projects ? from intelligent terrain assessment algorithms for landing on Mars to autonomous rover navigation for planetary surface exploration. She has released more than nine software and hardware technology innovations for licensing to the public, including the Artificial Intelligence Toolkit, which already has more than 300 registered internationally since its release in August 2003. Her accomplishments have been documented in more than a dozen featured articles -- including being named as one of the world's top young innovators of 2003 by Technology Review, MIT's magazine of innovation, and in TIME magazine's Innovator series "Rise of the Machines."

Since 1991, Howard has been at NASA's JPL, where she has led research efforts on various projects utilizing vision, fuzzy logic, and neural network methodologies. Currently, she is a senior member of the technical staff with the Mobility Systems Concepts Development Section and serves as deputy manager of the Strategic University Relationship Partnership Office under the Office of the Chief Scientist.

The presentation is free and open to the public. To reserve a seat call Maria Perez-Colon at (856) 256-5301.
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