Friday, April 1, 2016 - 10:00am to 11:00am
Rogers 226

Speaker Information

Julie A. Adams
Associate Professor
Computer Science and Computer Engineering
Vanderbilt University


Biological inspiration for artificial systems abound. While a science is emerging of how biological swarms, both spatial (e.g., fish and starlings) and colony based (e.g., honeybees), behave and how to model them, and progress has been made regarding how a single human can influence swarms, we lack a full understanding of how a single human or individuals within an organization can influence swarms. Many unique challenges exist when attempting to emulate biological swarms and the associated capabilities that allow humans to influence them. First-response and military organizations seek to deploy swarms that obtain desired outcomes over variable-duration missions; thus, our research focuses on understanding the underlying biological phenomenon and the associated implications for human–swarm teaming. Our multiple pronged research focuses on analyzing biologically inspired communication protocols to identify correlations with swarm task performance; analyzing how factors impact humans’ abilities to influence swarms, including developing systems that allow human organizations, with potentially multiple humans influencing the swarm simultaneously, to effectively team with spatial and colony based swarms. While our existing results are simulation based, the transfer of the capabilities to a swarm of small robots and a hybrid swarm of real and simulated unmanned aerial vehicles is on going.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Julie A. Adams has been selected for promotion to Full Professor of Computer Science and Computer Engineering in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at Vanderbilt University. She is also the founder of the Human-Machine Teaming Laboratory and has worked in the area of human-autonomy teaming for twenty-five years. Throughout her career she has focused on human interaction with unmanned systems, but also focused on manned civilian and military aircraft at Honeywell, Inc. and commercial, consumer and industrial systems at the Eastman Kodak Company. Dr. Adams received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer and Information Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.S. in Computer Science and B.B.E. in Accounting from Siena College. She has over 125 referred publications and her research efforts have been featured in international news outlets including National Geographic, Scientific American Podcast, Der Spiegel, and BBC on-line.