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Spring 2024 GRASP on Robotics: Jessy Grizzle, University of Michigan, “Michigan’s Robotics Department and Undergrad Curriculum – ‘Non c’è scommessa più persa di quella che non giocherò’ (There’s no bet more lost than the one I won’t even play)” — Ora by Jovanotti

April 5 @ 10:30 am - 11:45 am

This was a hybrid event with in-person attendance in Wu and Chen and virtual attendance…


After 39 years as a faculty member with continuous NSF support, the speaker has graduated his last PhD students, closed his lab, and turned 100% to teaching. From June 2016 through June 2021, he led Michigan’s Robotics Institute (aka, he took that bet) and transformed it into a full-fledged department with UG, MS, and PhD degrees. The talk will focus on the undergraduate program and its highly innovative math sequence: ROB 101 Computational Linear Algebra has already taught over 800 Michigan engineers, 90 HBCU students, and a handful of HS students;  and ROB 201 Calculus for the Modern Engineer, which will be piloted in Fall 2024. Both courses are focused on equity because, while Talent is Uniformly Distributed, Opportunity is Not!


Jessy Grizzle

Jessy Grizzle - Learn More

Jessy W. Grizzle is a Professor of Robotics at the University of Michigan, where he holds the titles of Elmer Gilbert Distinguished University Professor and Jerry and Carol Levin Professor of Engineering. Grizzle’s academic journey began with a B.S.E. in ECE at Oklahoma State Univerity in 1979 and a Ph.D. in ECE from The University of Texas at Austin in 1983. He joined the University of Michigan in 1987 as an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He was Director of the Michigan Robotics Institute from July 2016 to June 2022, during which he was instrumental in its transformation into a full-fledged department, offering a complete spectrum of undergraduate and graduate degrees in Robotics. He jointly holds sixteen patents dealing with emissions reduction in passenger vehicles through improved control system design. Professor Grizzle is a Fellow of the IEEE and IFAC. He received the Paper of the Year Award from the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society in 1993, the George S. Axelby Award in 2002, the Control Systems Technology Award in 2003, the Bode Prize in 2012 and the IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology Outstanding Paper Award in 2014. The IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, Googol Best New Application Paper Award in 2019 and the Kalman Prize for Best Paper in the Journal of Dynamic Systems Measurement and Control in 2023. He holds the Guinness Book of World Records for lowest temperature endured by a bipedal robot (-22C for 1 hour and 2 minutes in 2019. His work on bipedal locomotion has been the object of numerous plenary lectures and has been featured on CNN, ESPN, Discovery Channel, The Economist, Wired Magazine, Discover Magazine, Scientific American and Popular Mechanics.


April 5
10:30 am - 11:45 am
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Wu and Chen Auditorium
3330 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
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