Applied Data Science Invited Talks

Professor Jonathan P. How

The Richard C. Maclaurin Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Wednesday 10:00am – 12:00pm, Room 200D

Title: Planning and Learning under Uncertainty: Theory and Practice

This talk will describe recent progress on modeling, planning, learning, and control of autonomous systems operating in dynamic environments, with an emphasis on addressing the challenges faced on various timescales. For example, autonomous robotic agents need to plan/execute safe paths and avoid imminent collisions given noisy sensory information (short timescale), learn how to interact with other agents (possibly humans) with intents that are not known (medium timescale), and perform complex cooperative tasks given imperfect models and knowledge of the environment and teammate actions (long timescale). These tasks are often constrained to be done using onboard computation and perception, which can add significant complexity to the system. The talk will highlight several recently developed solutions to these challenges that have been implemented to demonstrate high-speed agile flight of a quad-rotor in unknown, cluttered environments, autonomous navigation of a ground vehicle in complex indoor environments alongside pedestrians, and real-time cooperative multi-agent planning with an onboard deep learning-based perception system.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Jonathan P. How is the Richard C. Maclaurin Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received a B.A.Sc. from the University of Toronto in 1987 and his S.M. and Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT in 1990 and 1993, respectively. He then studied for two years at MIT as a postdoctoral associate for the Middeck Active Control Experiment (MACE) that flew onboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in March 1995. Prior to joining MIT in 2000, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. He is the Editor-in-chief of the IEEE Control Systems Magazine and an Associate Editor for the AIAA Journal of Aerospace Information Systems. Professor How was the recipient of the 2002 Institute of Navigation Burka Award, a Boeing Special Invention award in 2008, the IFAC Automatica award for best applications paper in 2011, the AeroLion Technologies Outstanding Paper Award for the Journal Unmanned Systems in 2015, won the IEEE Control Systems Society Video Clip Contest in 2015, and received the AIAA Best Paper in Conference Awards in 2011, 2012, and 2013. He is a Fellow of AIAA and a senior member of IEEE.