IEEE Robotics and Automation Society IEEE

Go, Girl, Go!

Saturday, May 30
WSCC 4A

This forum, co-organized by ICRA 2015 and Washington FIRST, brings together girls of age 6-18 with undergraduate and graduate students, and established robotics researchers and professionals. The day will feature:

  • plenary talks by dynamic luminaries in the field, including A.J. Brush (Microsoft Research) and Radhika Nagpal (Harvard University);
  • a Career Paths Panel in which women share their personal stories and professional highlights;
  • an interactive speed group mentoring session in which mentors (undergraduates, graduate students, and senior robotics researchers) hold brief sessions at round tables with small groups of girls;
  • box lunches and networking time with the students and professionals;
  • a first hand look at demos of all the FIRST leagues.

Download the Go, Girl, Go! Flyer

The event is free for all girls ages 6-18!  Please register for your free admission ticket.

Schedule

 


Organizers

  • Nancy M. Amato, Texas A&M University
  • Lori Hittle, Washington FIRST Robotics
  • Erin McCallum, Washington FIRST Robotics
  • Lynne Parker, University of Tennessee
  • Shawna Thomas, Texas A&M University

Keynote Abstracts

Inventing Technology for Homes & Families

A.J. Brush, Microsoft Research

Abstract: Technology in homes fascinates me due to the wide range of devices and services, the needs of different residents, and the constant change as people enter and leave home with devices. At home people use technology by themselves and with other people for a variety of tasks, from coordinating their lives to entertainment. For the past 10 years I have studied and built technology for homes and families. I will present a series of research prototypes we have built and put in homes to enable digital family calendaring, family connectedness, and saving energy. Inspired by the challenges of deploying prototypes into homes, my current project, Lab of Things, is a publicly available platform that makes it easier for researchers to build and deploy prototypes using connected devices in homes. Academics are using Lab of Things for both teaching and research projects, and we are excited to see how the platform can help accelerate innovation in home technology.

Ants, Bees, and Robot Collectives

Radhika Nagpal, Harvard University

Abstract: Social insects - like ants and bees - work together in massive groups to do amazing things from finding food over vast areas to defending their brood against predators. They also build! often assembling amazing structures of mind-boggling scale and complexity. For example, centimeter-scale African termites collectively construct self-ventilating mounds up to 10 meters high; Australian weaver ants make bridges and chains out of their own bodies; Fire ants self-assemble into floating rafts to survive floods. As a group, these insects are incredible engineers and architects of their environment.

What would it take to create robots and robot collectives that can similarly engineer and architect their environment? In this talk I will discuss several different projects from our group that use inspiration from insects to create novel types of robots that can solve different problems in our environment. One example is our Termes Robots, that are inspired by mound-building termites that construct large and complex nests, but seem to do so without any leaders in charge. I'll also talk about the Kilobot robot, where we've made our first "colony" of a thousand programmable robots, and the Robobee project (joint with Wood Group), where we want to create a colony of tiny robots inspired by honeybees. Lastly, I'll also show some recent work where I traveled to Namibia to work with biologists to better understand the incredible group intelligence that social insects display.

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Career Paths Panel

  • Michelle Graf, Educational Specialist, EverFi, Inc., MC
  • A.J. Brush, Principal UX Architect, Microsoft Research, Panelist
  • Kristi Morgansen, Associate Professor, University of Washington, Panelist
  • Radhika Nagpal, Fred Kavli Professor, Harvard University, Panelist
  • Sharon Newman, Undergraduate Student, University of Washington, Panelist
  • Chelsea Olson, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Washington, Panelist
  • Hannah Rudolph, Undergraduate Student, Agnes Scott College, Panelist

Questions from the audience:

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Table Mentoring Mentors

  1. Nancy Amato, Unocal Professor, Texas A&M University
  2. Siena Dumas Ang, Undergraduate Student, University of Washington
  3. Monica Delaine Anderson, Associate Professor, University of Alabama
  4. Spring Berman, Assistant Professor, Arizona State University
  5. Kay Brewer, Hydroplane Driver, Unlimited Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum
  6. A.J. Brush, Principal UX Architect, Microsoft Research
  7. Jen Jen Chung, Postdoctoral Researcher, Oregon State University
  8. Katherine Driggs-Campbell, Graduate Student, University of California, Berkeley
  9. Chinwe Ekenna, Ph.D. Candidate, Texas A&M University
  10. Megan Emmons, Ph.D. Candidate, Colorado State University
  11. Aleksandra Faust, Senior Computer Science R&D Engineer, Sandia National Laboratories
  12. Mukulika Ghosh, Ph.D. Candidate, Texas A&M University
  13. Maria Gini, Professor, University of Minnesota
  14. Michelle Graf, Education Specialist, EverFi, Inc.
  15. Corina Gurau
  16. Sabine Hauert, Lecturer, University of Bristol
  17. Megan Hopp, Undergraduate Student, University of Washington
  18. M. Ani Hsieh, Associate Professor, Drexel University
  19. Olga Kazakova, Undergraduate Research Assistant, University of Washington
  20. Katerena (Katie) Kuksenok, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Washington
  21. Sabreen Lakhani, Software Engineer, Tableau
  22. Meredith Marie Lampe, Undergraduate Student, University of Washington
  23. Hui Li, R&D Lead, Airware
  24. Amrita Mazumdar, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Washington
  25. Megan McGrath, Undergraduate Student, University of Washington
  26. Lauren Miller, Ph.D. Candidate, Northwestern University
  27. Kristi Morgansen, Associate Professor, University of Washington
  28. Lenka Mudrova, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Birmingham, UK
  29. Radhika Nagpal, Fred Kavli Professor, Harvard University
  30. Sharon Newman, Undergraduate Student, University of Washington
  31. Nikki Nikkhoui, Undergraduate Student, University of Washington
  32. Ilana Nisky, Senior Lecturer, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
  33. Narges Noori, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Minnesota
  34. Chelsea Olson, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Washington
  35. Lynne Parker, Professor, University of Tennessee
  36. Erin Peach, Undergraduate Student, University of Washington
  37. Maura Power, Ph.D. Candidate, Imperial College London
  38. Katherine Pratt, Graduate Student, University of Washington
  39. Hong Qiao, Professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  40. Signe Redfield, Engineer, Naval Research Laboratory
  41. Hannah Rudolph, Undergraduate Student, Agnes Scott College
  42. Jessica Schroeder, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Washington
  43. Shawna Thomas, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Texas A&M University
  44. Joanna Turner, Ph.D. Candidate, Loughborough University
  45. Diane Uwacu, Ph.D. Candidate, Texas A&M University
  46. Victoria Wagner, Software Engineer, Tableau
  47. Nancy (Xin Ru) Wang, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Washington
  48. Catherine Wong, Ph.D. Candidate, Cornell University
  49. Hsin-Yi (Cindy) Yeh, Ph.D. Candidate, Texas A&M University

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FIRST Programs Demonstrations

Several teams will provide demonstrations:

  • Queen Anne Robotics (5-6 students and 2 mentors)
  • Team Circle of 7 (6 students and 2 mentors)
  • Team CPR (4-5 students and 2 mentors)
  • Team Cyberknights (4-5 students and 2 mentors)
  • Team Robogators ( 8 students and 2 mentors)
  • Team Robogators 2 (8 students and 2 mentors)
  • Team Sonic Squirrels (4-5 students and 2 mentors)
  • Team SWERVE (4-5 students and 2 mentors)
  • Team XBot (4-5 students and 1 mentor)

FIRST Volunteers for Go Girl Go:

  • Vickie Andrews
  • Heidi Burkett
  • Katie Burkett
  • Hanna Fitch
  • Lorraine Gjerde
  • Jacque Grimm
  • Lori Hittle
  • Casey Linden
  • Heidi Lovett
  • David Martucci
  • Susan Martucci
  • Adrienne Rime
  • Kevin Ross
  • Brogan Thomas
  • Eric VanBuren
  • Hilary Waite

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Biographies

Nancy Amato
Unocal Professor
Texas A&M University

Biography: Nancy M. Amato is Unocal Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University where she co-directs the Parasol Lab. She received undergraduate degrees in Mathematical Sciences and Economics from Stanford University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her main areas of research focus are motion planning and robotics, computational biology and geometry, and parallel and distributed computing. She was Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE/RSJ IROS Conference Paper Review Board from 2011-2013, has served on the editorial boards of the IEEE Transactions of Robotics and Automation, IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Computing. She is co-Chair of the Computing Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) and was co-Chair of the NCWIT Academic Alliance (2009-2011). She was an AT&T Bell Laboratories PhD Scholar, received an NSF CAREER Award, is a Distinguished Speaker for the ACM Distinguished Speakers Program, and was a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. She received the 2014 CRA A. Nico Haberman Award, the inaugural 2014 NCWIT Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award, the 2013 IEEE Hewlett-Packard/Harriet B. Rigas Award, a University-level teaching award, and the Betty M. Unterberger Award for Outstanding Service to Honors Education at Texas A&M. She is a AAAS Fellow and an IEEE Fellow.

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Siena Dumas Ang
Undergraduate Student
University of Washington

Biography: Siena Dumas Ang is graduating from the University of Washington in June with a triple degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, and Dance. She also choreographs, TAs for a databases course, and does Artificial Intelligence research.

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Monica Delaine Anderson
Associate Professor
University of Alabama

Biography: Dr. Anderson’s research interests include robotics.

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Spring Berman
Assistant Professor
Arizona State University

Biography: Spring M. Berman is an assistant professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and graduate faculty in Computer Science at Arizona State University. She received the B.S.E. degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 2005 and the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. From 2010 to 2012, she was a postdoctoral researcher in Computer Science at Harvard University. Her research focuses on controlling swarms of resource-limited robots with stochastic behaviors to reliably perform collective tasks, such as sensor coverage and cooperative manipulation, in realistic environments. She is also interested in the analysis of collective behaviors in biology and biologically-inspired control of distributed systems. She was a recipient of the 2014 DARPA Young Faculty Award.

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Kay Brewer
Hydroplane Driver
Unlimited Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum

Biography: I started racing outboard hydroplanes at the age of nine in the Junior Stock Outboard Class with Seattle Outboard Association. As a third-generation hydroplane driver, I have raced in a variety of outboard classes in my 20 years of experience. During that time, I traveled throughout the country, winning national and regional honors in the 350H Class and was a four-time record holder in Formula A hydroplanes.

Growing up in a racing family, I spent many hours building boats with her brother and my dad. Sitting side-by-side with my dad, working on outboard motors in their garage, are some of my fondest childhood memories. My mother has always been my best cheerleader helping me grow confidence when going deck to deck with some of the best drivers in the nation.

My interest in hydroplane racing has now also taken me to new heights in announcing and interviewing drivers for the unlimited hydroplanes across the world.

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A.J. Brush
Principal UX Architect
Microsoft Research

Biography: A.J. Bernheim Brush is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research. A.J.’s research area is Human-Computer Interaction with a focus on Ubiquitous Computing and Computer Supported Collaboration (CSCW). A.J. is most well known for her research on technologies for families and her expertise conducting field studies of technology. Her current focus is home automation as co-leader of the Lab of Things project. She is a Senior Member of the ACM and was honored to receive a Borg Early Career Award in 2010. Her research has received 2 best paper awards and several best paper nominations. She has 11 patents and more than 18 inventions patent pending. A.J. was co-general chair of UbiComp 2014, and serves on the UbiComp Steering Committee and is co-chair of CRA-W. A.J. also serves regularly on Program Committees for many conferences including UbiComp, Pervasive, CHI, and CSCW.

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Jen Jen Chung
Postdoctoral Researcher
Oregon State University

Biography: Jen Jen Chung recently completed her Ph.D. on reinforcement learning for long endurance autonomous soaring at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics at the University of Sydney. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Oregon State University working in the Autonomous Agents and Distributed Intelligence Lab and the Robotic Decision Making Lab. Her current work focuses on UAV traffic management and risk-aware path planning algorithms.

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Katherine Driggs-Campbell
Graduate Student
University of California, Berkeley

Biography: Katie was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ, and did her undergraduate work at Arizona State University, studying Electrical Engineering. Early on, she was involved in research, developing chemical sensors to detect personal exposure to toxic chemicals for health applications. For graduate school, she came to UC Berkeley to work with Professor Ruzena Bajcsy and now studies how humans and robots can interact and assist each other in everyday life. Specifically, she looks at the interactions between drivers and semi- or fully autonomous vehicles to keep people safe. Outside of work, she loves reading fun books, eating food, and playing with her puppy (named Puppy) and her pet goats (named Louis and Clark).

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Chinwe Ekenna
Ph.D. Candidate
Texas A&M University

Biography: I am a graduate student at Texas A&M University currently working with Professor Nancy Amato. I attained my BSc and Msc degree in computer science from Covenant University Nigeria. Our group works with Randomized motion planning algorithms and my research is focused on application of this algorithms to computational biology problems.

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Megan Emmons
Ph.D. Candidate
Colorado State University

Biography: Introduced to science by a supportive father, Megan Emmons has enthusiastically pursued robotics throughout her academic career. In completing her B.S. for Electrical Engineering in 2010 at Colorado School of Mines, Megan was introduced to control systems engineering. Intrigued by the promise of this field, she continued her education at Utah State University where she focused on autonomous vehicle platooning. Megan finished her M.S. in 2013 but wanted to delve further into control systems. This desire, combined with a love for the mountains, drew her back to Colorado where she is now a PhD candidate at Colorado State University. Her research focuses on robotic swarms and autonomous navigation.

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Aleksandra Faust
Senior Computer Science R&D Engineer
Sandia National Laboratories

Biography: Aleksandra Faust is a Senior Computer Science R&D Engineer at Sandia National Laboratories. She earned, with distinction, a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of New Mexico, a Masters of Computer Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Bachelors in Mathematics from University of Belgrade, Serbia. She is recipient of Tom L. Popejoy Dissertation Prize, a highest level of academic excellence at University of New Mexico, Outstanding Graduate Student in Computer Science Award, the New Mexico Space Grant fellowship, and the Sandia National Laboratories Doctoral Studies Program fellowship. Aleksandra enjoys doing STEM outreach, especially for elementary school students. Her research interests are in artificial intelligence, robotics, and machine learning, in particular learning-based motion planning and reinforcement learning. Her passion is making robots smarter, and learning about human cognition in the process.

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Mukulika Ghosh
Ph.D. Candidate
Texas A&M University

Biography: Mukulika Ghosh is a PhD student working under Dr. Nancy M. Amato in Parasol Lab, Texas A&M University. Her research interests include computational geometry, in particular approximation of shapes.

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Michelle Graf
Education Specialist
EverFi, Inc.

Biography: Michelle Graf specializes in developing professional development curriculum in robotics, as well as taking educators to the next level and building robots without using kits at all. In addition to working with educators, Graf has been affiliated with FIRST Robotics as an emcee for competitions nationally and abroad for over a decade. She currently works with teachers in WA and OR through EverFi, an education technology company that provides critical skills to students of all ages.

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Maria Gini
Professor
University of Minnesota

Biography: Maria Gini is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. She specializes in robotics and Artificial Intelligence. Specifically she studies decision making for autonomous agents in a variety of applications and contexts, ranging from distributed methods for task allocation, robot exploration, and teamwork. She also works on agent-based economic predictions for supply-chain management, for which she won the 2012 INFORMS Design Science Award for with her Ph.D. student Wolf Ketter and colleagues. She is a Fellow of AAAI, a Distinguished Professor of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota, and the winner of numerous University awards.

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Sabine Hauert
Lecturer
University of Bristol

Biography: Sabine Hauert use modeling, machine learning and crowdsourcing to automatically design swarming nanorobots for biomedical applications. She validates swarm strategies using in vitro tissue-on-a-chip constructs and robotic testbeds. She is passionate about science communication, she runs the non-profit Robohub to connect the robotics community to the public.

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Megan Hopp
Undergraduate Student
University of Washington

Biography: I am a senior currently pursuing a degree in Computer Science at the University of Washington. I am currently an undergraduate TA for the CSE department at UW, and after interning at Microsoft last summer, I plan on moving to an internship at Google Kirkland for the summer of 2015. I have found involvement in outreach opportunities through the UW CSE department, as well as other outlets, very fulfilling and look forward to spreading the word for computer science to the next generation in new and exciting ways.

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M. Ani Hsieh
Associate Professor
Drexel University

Biography: M. Ani Hsieh is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics Department at Drexel University. She received her B.S. in Engineering and B.A. in Economics from Swarthmore College and her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. She leads the Scalable Autonomous Systems Lab at Drexel and her work focuses on developing distributed control and sensing strategies for many robot systems with applications in ocean sciences, factory automation, and environmental monitoring. She was a 2011 ONR Summer Faculty Fellow, a recipient of the 2012 Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Award, and was awarded a 2013 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award.

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Olga Kazakova
Undergraduate Research Assistant
University of Washington

Biography: Olga Kazakova is an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Applied Math Department at the University of Washington.

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Katerena (Katie) Kuksenok
Ph.D. Candidate
University of Washington

Biography: Katerena is a Doctoral candidate at University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering. Her dissertation is on adoption and adaptation of data science in oceanography, and is an interview and observation based ethnographic research project. She has worked on a large variety of computer science research projects - from game theory to machine translation to sentiment analysis to user research to socio-technical ethnography. She has interviewed activists in Kyiv about the role of social media in the Maidan movement; she has had a debate with two philosophers and Nick Denton (Gawker Media founder) in Budapest about the role of the internet in social movements; and she has, while sitting at a Tehran bus station, seen herself on television giving an interview about the IranOpen 2015 RoboCup event, which she attended with the Berlin United Nao team (Standard Platform League). Her primary research interest is in machine learning and data mining, and using ethnographic methods to build fundamental understanding of the process - and potential - of socio-technical systems. Her primary life interest is, more or less, challenge and adventure. "Let her who would move the world first move herself."

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Sabreen Lakhani
Software Engineer
Tableau

Biography: Sabreen graduated with a BS in Computer Science from Harvey Mudd College in 2011. She began her career as a Software Development Engineer at Amazon. After 3 years, she switched companies and currently works as a Software Engineer at Tableau. She is an advocate for maintaining a healthy work/life balance and in her free time she enjoys climbing, cycling, photography, and kickboxing.

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Meredith Marie Lampe
Undergraduate Student
University of Washington

Biography: Meredith is currently a second-year undergraduate in the Computer Science program at the University of Washington. She has been involved as a Teaching Assistant for the introductory programming series, and is currently on a research team focused on building software to help high school & college students learn to code When not at school, Meredith can be found reading, running and drinking lots of coffee. She has had a very positive experience studying STEM fields and would love to chat about that, or anything else!

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Hui Li
R&D Lead
Airware

Biography: I lead R&D at Airware, a drone startup in San Francisco. Previously, I worked on autonomous localization and navigation for mobile robots at Boeing Research & Technology. I received my Ph.D in AI and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering both from MIT. In my spare time, I like to DJ and make electronic music.

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Amrita Mazumdar
Ph.D. Candidate
University of Washington

Biography: Amrita is a PhD student at the University of Washington, researching new computer architectures for visual computing. She graduated in 2014 from Columbia University, where she studied computer engineering and English literature.

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Megan McGrath
Undergraduate Student
University of Washington

Biography: I am a sophomore studying Computer Science at the University of Washington at the Seattle campus. I initially came to UW thinking I was going to major in Biochemistry and continue on to medical school, but switched plans when I took an intro computer science class that I really enjoyed. Since then I have been a undergraduate teaching assistant for the introductory series and completed research on computer science education. This summer I will be completing my first technical internship at Microsoft. I have been very fortunate to have been surrounded by many wonderful women in STEM throughout my life, and I would love to share my experiences with others and help encourage them to consider pursuing STEM careers.

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Lauren Miller
Ph.D. Candidate
Northwestern University

Biography: Lauren Miller is a PhD candidate in mechanical engineering at Northwestern University. Lauren is a member of Todd Murphey's research group, part of the Neuroscience and Robotics (NxR) lab. She received her undergraduate degree in engineering from Dartmouth College in 2009. Her current research focuses on the development of theory and design of algorithms for sensor-based planning and estimation for robotic systems. Lauren is also an active member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, as the chair the Student Activities Committee and a member of the Administrative Committee.

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Kristi Morgansen
Associate Professor
University of Washington

Biography: Kristi A. Morgansen is an Associate Professor and the Associate Chair for Academics in the William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics at the University of Washington. Professor Morgansen’s research interests focus on nonlinear systems where sensing and actuation are integrated, stability in switched systems with delay, and incorporation of operational constraints such as communication delays in control of multi-vehicle systems. The applications around which the theoretical methods have been constructed include both traditional autonomous vehicle systems such as fixed-wing aircraft and underwater gliders as well as novel systems such as bio-inspired underwater propulsion, bio-inspired agile flight, human decision making, and neural engineering. From 2002 to 2007, Professor Morgansen held the chaired position of Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Engineering at the University of Washington. She received an NSF CAREER Award in 2003, the 2010 O. Hugo Schuck Award for Best Paper in the Theory Category in the 2009 American Control Conference, and the 2013-2014 AIAA PNW Section Educator of the Year Award.

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Lenka Mudrova
Ph.D. Candidate
University of Birmingham, UK

Biography: Lenka is a PhD student in Birmingham, UK. Previously, she studied at Czech Technical University in Prague where she was the only woman in her courses. She was awarded by prestigious Google Anita Borg Memorial scholarship. She is really passionable about robotics which she proves by designing robots for various competitions.

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Radhika Nagpal
Fred Kavli Professor
Harvard University

Biography: Radhika Nagpal is the Kavli Professor of Computer Science at Harvard University and a core faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. At Harvard, she leads the Self-organizing Systems Research Group (SSR) and her research combines computer science, robotics, and biology. Her main area of interest is how cooperation can emerge or be programmed from large groups of simple agents. Recent work includes the Termes robots for collective construction and the Kilobot thousand-robot swarm (both published in Science Magazine 2014, and chosen as one of their top ten breakthrough articles this year). In addition to creating new robots with her research group, she enjoys painting, dancing, and celebrating her family's indian and carribean cultures.

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Sharon Newman
Undergraduate Student
University of Washington

Biography: Sharon is a graduating senior in Bioengineering and works at the University of Washington BioRobotics Lab. She works with robot automation and is going to continue her research endeavors in neuro-prosthetic devices upon graduation in Germany. She is an avid biker, FIRST supporter, and FRC alum.

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Nikki Nikkhoui
Undergraduate Student
University of Washington

Biography: Nikki Nikkhoui is a senior undergraduate at the University of Washington studying Informatics. After accidentally taking an Informatics class her freshman year of college, she discovered her love for technology and has been pursuing a career in tech ever since. She is particularly interested in using technology to promote social change, and is currently managing a project to serve Seattle's homeless community.

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Ilana Nisky
Senior Lecturer
Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Biography: Ilana Nisky received the B.Sc, M.Sc., and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, where she is the head of the Biomedical Robotics Lab. She was previously a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, funded by the prestigious Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship, and the Weizmann Institute National Postdoctoral Award for Advancing Women in Science. Her research interests include human motor control, haptics, robotics, human and machine learning, teleoperation, and robot-assisted surgery. Ilana has authored more than 30 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, and numerous abstracts in international conferences. Several of these studies received exceptional recognition – 2 Best Student Paper awards at international conferences, and several Best Poster awards. She is an executive committee member of the EuroHaptics Society and a board member of the Israeli Society for Medical and Biological Engineering. She is also a member of IEEE, the Society for the Neural Control of Movement, the Society for Neuroscience, Technical Committee on Haptics, and American Physiology Society.

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Narges Noori
Ph.D. Candidate
University of Minnesota

Biography: I am Narges and I am a PhD Candidate since 2011 with the department of Computer Science at the University of Minnesota. I am a roboticist and am mainly interested in designing search algorithms for robots to find a mobile target. This problem is known as the lion-and-man game where the lion is the searcher and the man is the target. I use basic geometric tools to design strategies that guarantee capturing the target in finite time.

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Chelsea Olson
Ph.D. Candidate
University of Washington

Biography: Chelsea Olson recently completed her Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington and will be starting work on her Ph.D. focusing on Systems, Controls and Robotics this fall. She is currently employed by the Boeing Company as an Electrophysics Scientist working with high-speed, real-time Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) in use on a variety of Boeing Defense platforms. Chelsea is a devoted FIRST Robotics mentor and volunteer since 2012 where she fell in love with the programs, working with students, and the tight-knit, supportive community of technical professionals. In addition to her insatiable desire to empower young girls in STEM/STEAM fields, she spends much of her free time volunteering at the Seattle Humane Society and the Museum of Flight as a mentor for the Amelia's Aero Club educational program.

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Lynne Parker
Professor
University of Tennessee

Biography: In January 2015, Dr. Lynne Parker began serving as the Division Director for Information and Intelligent Systems in the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation. She joins NSF from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), where she is a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and a former Associate Head. While at NSF, she continues her research part time at UTK, in the areas of distributed robotics, human-robot interaction, sensor networks, and machine learning. She also previously worked for several years as a Distinguished Research and Development Staff Member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She is serving as the General Chair for the 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, and has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Conference Editorial Board, as an Administrative Committee Member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, and as Editor of IEEE Transactions on Robotics. She is committed to mentoring female computer scientists and engineers, and was the founding advisor of the "Systers: Women in EECS" student group at UTK. Prior to her NSF appointment, she regularly taught graduate and undergraduate classes in robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced algorithms. Dr. Parker received her Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was awarded the PECASE (U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers), and is a Fellow of IEEE.

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Erin Peach
Undergraduate Student
University of Washington

Biography: I am a graduating senior in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Washington. Next year, I will continue my time at UW pursuing a Masters of Science in Computer Science. I've had internships at start-ups and established companies and currently work as a Civic Tech Fellow at Microsoft. I've also been involved in research on educational computer games. Last year, I studied computer science in the Netherlands while participating on an academic exchange. I am passionate about computer science education and using computer science to create a tangible impact in our community. When I'm not studying or thinking about computer science, I'm enjoying or making music and indulging my obsession with jigsaw puzzles.

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Maura Power
Ph.D. Candidate
Imperial College London

Biography: Maura has a Master’s of Research (MRes) from the Hamlyn Centre for Robotics Surgery at Imperial College London in Medical Robotics. For her MRes project she worked with the Raven II Surgical Robot to implement a learning from demonstration framework with haptic guidance. Her Bachelor’s degree was in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from University College Cork, Ireland. She is now a PhD candidate under Professor Guang-Zhong Yang at the Hamlyn Centre working on developing sensing and actuation methods for micro/nano-robotics, and also machine learning techniques for human control of these multi-robot systems. Outside of working on her PhD she loves knitting, tennis and roller skating around Hyde Park.

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Katherine Pratt
Graduate Student
University of Washington

Biography: Katherine is a graduate student in the BioRobotics Lab of the Electrical Engineering department at the University of Washington. She has a degree in aerospace engineering from MIT and spent four years in the Air Force, primarily working on the F-35. She also has industry experience from the private space venture company Blue Origin.

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Hong Qiao
Professor
Chinese Academy of Sciences

Biography: Prof. Qiao is currently a professor in the Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). She is the Founder and Director of Robotic Theory and Application Research Group (with more than 30 researchers), and the vice director of Brain Engineering Laboratory, CAS. Prof. Qiao serves as a member of the Administrative Committee (AdCom) of IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS). Prof. Qiao is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Assembly Automation (SCI), and the Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering and IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics. Prof. Qiao works on Interaction between Robotics and Control, Pattern Recognition and Computational NeuroScience for Intelligent Robotic Manipulation, which corresponds to Robotic ‘hand’, ’eyes’ and ’brain’. The attractive regions in environment proposed by her and also the idea of simulating biological mechanism are throughout all her research investigation. The research results have been successfully applied to large national manufacture companies, such as Chery Anhui Efort Intelligent Equipment Co. Ltd., Shaanxi Qinchuan Machinery Development Co. Ltd. and YASKAWA SHOUGANG Robot Co. Ltd. Prof. Qiao has published more than 100 research papers in internet.

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Signe Redfield
Engineer
Naval Research Laboratory

Biography: Dr. Signe Redfield is a roboticist for the US Navy, where she develops algorithms and decision making tools for robots. After receiving a B.A. in General Engineering from Johns Hopkins, and both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Florida in Electrical Engineering, she took a job with the Navy as a civilian researcher, working on behaviors and coordination mechanisms to support multi-robot operations for underwater robots. She spent 3 years in London as the ONR Global Associate Director for Autonomy and Unmanned Systems where her duties included learning the state of research in robotics throughout the world, and is currently supporting a space robotics project for DARPA at the Naval Research Laboratory.

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Hannah Rudolph
Undergraduate Student
Agnes Scott College

Biography: Hannah Rudolph is a sophomore undergraduate at Agnes Scott College studying neuroscience. After going on to earn her PhD she intends to pursue a career in research, focusing on neuropsychiatric disorders and neuropharmacology. She first became interested in studying the brain in sixth grade, and has been pursuing her passion ever since. As well as being passionate about science, Hannah is a dedicated member of the FIRST Robotics community and continues to be involved in as many ways as she can.

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Jessica Schroeder
Ph.D. Candidate
University of Washington

Biography: Jessie is a Computer Science PhD student at the University of Washington. Her main area of research is health informatics; she's interested in helping people use personal devices to improve and maintain their health. She graduated in 2014 from Pomona College, where she initially planned on majoring in neuroscience before switching to computer science.

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Shawna Thomas
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Texas A&M University

Biography: Shawna Thomas is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University working with Dr. Nancy M. Amato in the Parasol Lab. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2010 from Texas A&M University. Her research focus is on randomized motion planning algorithms and their application to problems in computational biology. She is also interested in the supporting areas of scientific visualization, physically-based modeling, and parallel computing. She is currently a co-PI on an NSF grant (2014–2017). Her graduate work was supported in part by a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (2002-2005), a P.E.O. Scholarship (2005-2006), a DOE GAANN Fellowship (2006-2007), and an IBM Ph.D. Fellowship (2007-2009). More information about Shawna Thomas' research and publications can be found at http://parasol.tamu.edu/~sthomas.

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Joanna Turner
Ph.D. Candidate
Loughborough University

Biography: Joanna Turner is PhD student at Loughborough University, UK. Her research area is in task allocation for distributed autonomous vehicle systems.

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Diane Uwacu
Ph.D. Candidate
Texas A&M University

Biography: Diane graduated this year in Computer Science and Finance from Oklahoma Christian University, and she is now working in the Parasol lab under Dr. Nancy Amato's supervision. Her interest in robotics was triggered by their numerous applications to solve real world problems. For now she is interested in combining motion planning and artificial intelligence.

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Victoria Wagner
Software Engineer
Tableau

Biography: Victoria Wagner is a software engineer at Tableau Software. She works on Tableau Public which is the free version of Tableau on public.tableau.com where people can visualize and share their data publicly. Before Tableau, she went to University of Washington and has a BS in Computer Science. She has had two internships at established companies down in the bay area. At university, she was always curious about what computer science was so she took the first computer science course, loved it, took the second one and a few years later here she is today!.

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Nancy (Xin Ru) Wang
Ph.D. Candidate
University of Washington

Biography: Nancy is a PhD student at University of Washington in the Computer Science and Engineering department. She studies computational neuroscience and brain-computer interfaces. She is interested in learning more about the brain using computers and extracting neural-inspired algorithms to help the field of computer science. She graduated in 2014 from University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada with an honors degree in computer science.

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Catherine Wong
Ph.D. Candidate
Cornell University

Biography: Catherine Wong is currently a 2nd year Ph.D student in Hadas Kress-Gazit's Group at Cornell University. Her current research focuses on dealing with unexpected events during correct-by-construction controller execution and extending it to multi-agent scenarios.

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Hsin-Yi (Cindy) Yeh
Ph.D. Candidate
Texas A&M University

Biography: Hsin-Yi (Cindy) Yeh is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University working with Dr. Nancy M. Amato in Parasol Laboratory. Her research focus is on a uniform sampling framework for randomized motion planning algorithms and their application to problems in computational biology, particularly in ligand binding.

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