Presenter: P. S. Krishnaprasad (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Friday March 26, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

Geometric methods in control theory have had a useful role in the investigation of problems of collective behavior. In this talk, we discuss recent progress in understanding nonlinear phenomena in small networks governed by feedback control laws that fall in the category of pursuit laws. Depending on the choice of pursuit law, it is possible to discern Hamiltonian and dissipative characteristics in the closed loop dynamics.

Presenter's Biography:

Since receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard University, P. S. Krishnaprasad has taught at Case Western Reserve University (1977-1980) and the University of Maryland (1980- present). His research interests are in control, signal processing, robotics, and connections of these subjects to biology. In recent work, he has concentrated on questions pertaining to collective behavior in nature and machines.

Tuesday February 16, 2010

Ben Taskar has been awarded the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan 2010 Research Fellowship Award in the field of Computer Science.

Event Date(s):
  Thursday February 25, 2010 at 2:00pm

Spring 2010 MEAM Seminar

Thursday, February 25, 2:00 P.M., Towne 337

Hosted by: Katherine Kuchenbecker

Micron:  An Active Handheld Micromanipulator

Wednesday February 3, 2010

GRASP Lab participates in the National Robotics Week, exact date to be announced. Details in

Presenter: Ko Nishino (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Friday February 19, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

Images contain much more information than seen at first glance. Whether they are apparent to the naked eyes or not, they encode the intrinsic structures,

Presenter's Biography:

Ko Nishino is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Drexel University. He received a B.E. and an M.E. in Information and
Communication Engineering (ECE) in 1997 and 1999, respectively, and a PhD in Computer Science in 2002, all from The University of Tokyo. Before joining Drexel University in 2005, he was a Postdoctoral Research Scientist in the Computer Science Department at Columbia University. His primary research interests lie in computer vision and include appearance modeling and synthesis, geometry processing, and video analysis. His work on exploiting eye reflections received considerable media attention including articles in New York Times, Newsweek, and NewScientist. He received the NSF CAREER award in 2008.

Presenter: Reza Ghaemi

Event Dates:
  Thursday January 28, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

* Alternate Location: Levine 307 (3330 Walnut Street)*

Addressing computational issues in Model Predictive Control (MPC) is critical in making MPC applicable for systems with fast dynamics and limited computational resources. One MPC implementation strategy which alleviates computational demands is to approximate the MPC optimal control solution by a nominal solution (often pre-computed or computed off-line) and a perturbation solution. For systems without constraints, an optimal perturbation analysis has been well developed in the literature.

Presenter's Biography:

Reza Ghaemi received the B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran, in 1998 and 2001, respectively. From 2001 to 2004, he conducted research on control and monitoring of power electronic systems at the Power Research Institute, Tehran, Iran. He is presently a graduate research assistant in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. His research interests include
optimal control theory and model predictive control.

Presenter: David Lee (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Friday February 26, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

Robotic surgery, once just a figment of imagination, has become the preferred method of surgery in several fields. The history of robotic surgery, present uses particularly in urology, and possibilities for future directions will be discussed.

Presenter's Biography:

Dr. David Lee is currently chief of urology at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and an assistant professor of surgery and urology at the University of Pennsylvania.

After completing his urology residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Dr. Lee completed an endourology fellowship with Dr. Ralph Clayman and Dr. Tom Ahlering at UCI Medical Center where he was part of one of the pioneering experiences of robotic surgery. In his initial practice in Texas, he established the first major robot prostatectomy program in the south central United States providing men with prostate cancer a minimally invasive choice for surgery. He was then recruited to Penn where he performs 10-15 robot prostatectomy cases per week. Penn Presbyterian Medical Center is now the busiest prostate cancer surgery hospital in the state of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Lee has published over 100 articles, abstracts and book chapters in the field of minimally invasive urologic surgery. He is the director of the UPHS robotic training center, associate director of the Penn urology residency and director of the Penn robotic urologic surgery fellowship.

Presenter: Benedetto Piccoli (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Friday February 5, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

This seminar is divided in two parts. The firs will report on results about quantized control systems, i.e. systems controlled with inputs from finite alphabets. In particular we will show how to introduce quantization on purpose for planning. The second part will focus on a new mathematical framework to deal with motion of intelligent groups. Based on time evolving mesaure the framework permits to address the problem both from macroscopic point of view, with application to pedestrian motion, and microscopic one, with application to animal groups.

Presenter's Biography:

Benedetto Piccoli is currently the Joseph and Loretta Lopez Chair of Mathematics at Rutgers University, Camden. Previously, he was the research director of IAC - CNR. Piccoli holds a Ph.D.and M.S. in Mathematics from the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy and a Laurea Degree in Mathematics from the University of Padua. As an international applied mathematics scholar, his research and work focuses on networks, partial differential equations, control systems, mathematical finance, and HIV treatments among others.

Presenter: William Provancher (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Friday March 19, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

In this talk, Dr. Provancher will describe two novel approaches to providing haptic guidance for navigation and fine motor tasks. These two approaches are: (1) applying tangential skin displacement to the fingertip for providing direction cues; and (2) augmenting a traditional stylus-based haptic interface with an Active Handrest. An overview of each of these areas is provided below.

Presenter's Biography:

Dr. William R. Provancher holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in Materials Science and Engineering, both from the University of Michigan. His PhD, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University, was in the area of haptics, tactile sensing, and feedback. His postdoctoral research involved investigating and designing bioinspired climbing robots, focusing on creating foot designs for climbing vertical surfaces with compliantly supported spines. He is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah. Prof. Provancher teaches courses in the areas of mechanical design, mechatronics, and haptics. His active areas of research include haptics and the design of novel climbing robots.

Presenter: Roger Brockett (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Friday January 15, 2010 from 11:00am to 12:00pm

It is widely recognized that many of the most important challenges faced by control engineers involve the development of methods to design and analyze systems having components most naturally described by differential equations interacting  with components best modeled using  sequential logic.  This situation can arise both in the development of high volume, cost sensitive, consumer products and in the design and certification of one of a kind, complex and expensive systems.  The response of the control community to this challenge includes work on limited c

Presenter's Biography:

Roger Brockett is the An Wang professor of electrical engineering and Computer Science at Harvard University. He has been exploring questions in engineering and applied sciences since starting graduate school, and has been teaching since his appointment as an Assistant Professor at MIT in 1963. His contributions include early work on frequency domain stability theory (multipliers), circle criterion instability, differential geometric methods in nonlinear control, feedback linearization and stabilization, the computation of Volterra series, a Lie algebra approach to the sufficient statistics problem in nonlinear estimation, work on robot kinematics and dynamics, formal languages for motion control, hybrid systems, flows for computation related to integrable systems, sub-Riemannian geometry, minimum attention control, quantum control, quantized systems and, most recently, optimal control of Markov processes.  He is a fellow of the IEEE and of SIAM, has received awards from IEEE (Control Systems Science and Engineering), ASME (Oldenberger), SIAM (Reid Prize), and AACC (Eckman, and Bellman), is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering. He is this year recipient of the IEEE Leon Kirchmayer Award for Graduate Education.  He has directed approximately 60 Ph.D. theses and authored about 200 research papers.