Understanding The Armed Forces' Technology Needs

September 18, 2006

(September 19, 2006)--Assistant Professor Charles Isbell is getting a taste of military life and a better understanding of the armed forces' technology needs, thanks to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Information Exploitation Office (IXO), in conjunction with the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA).

Isbell is among 12 junior faculty from across the nation selected for the Computer Science Study Group Program, which also qualifies him for a $500,000 government research grant in order to pursue basic computer science research as it relates to the Department of Defense's technology challenges. This is a more focused version of an earlier program called the Defense Sciences Study Group, which educates senior faculty on technology needs and research interests of the military.

Isbell and the other Study Group members are focusing on ideas that will lead to revolutionary technology and permit significant advances in information analysis capabilities. Respective projects are identifying and developing innovative ideas in pattern recognition, computer vision, probabilistic reasoning, database theory, biological inspired exploitation, abnormal behavior analysis, cognitive psychology, machine learning, and other advanced disciplines in computer science.

As a member of the Computer Science Study Group, Isbell visited bases in the Eastern and Western United States this summer, along with air craft carriers and naval destroyers—hobnobbing with commanders as well as the rank-and-file. He even took part in a simulated paratrooper jump from a 34 foot tower at Fort Bragg, and spent time in a nuclear-powered submarine.

Isbell’s research focus is Artificial Intelligence, particularly on statistical and information theoretic machine learning. Because he is interested in building large integrated systems that demonstrate the usefulness of these approaches, Isbell tends to spend a great deal of his time doing research on autonomous agents, and interacting with researchers in Human-Computer Interaction.

For more information about DARPA’s Computer Science Study Group program, click here.

For more information about Charles Isbell, click here