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Possible Topics for Independent Research

Possible topics for past and future projects include the following:

Chemical Engineering

  • Optimal design of reactor systems
  • Robust control of chemical processes
  • Reaction networks to model immune response
  • Control based on microscopic/stochastic simulators

Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • Smart buildings
  • Active structural control
  • Control of water resources
  • Earthquake engineering
  • Remote sensing

Computer Science

  • The role of simplicity in reasoning by machines
  • Machine learning, including game playing, photo identification, and semantic identification
  • Using DNA for parallel computation

Electrical Engineering

  • Applications of neural networks and other classifiers to image signal processing problems, such as character recognition and image segmentation
  • Modeling and analysis of behavior of groups of animals (insects, birds, fish, etc.)
  • Modeling and analysis of complex control problems in materials processing applications
  • Algorithms for video analysis and manipulation
  • Analysis, simulation, and applications of algorithms for pattern recognition and machine learning

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

  • Autonomous sub-scale helicopter
  • Anthropomorphic robots
  • Autonomous undersea vehicles
  • Robots for space exploration and development
  • Neural network control of non-linear systems
  • Neural network analysis of DNA microarrays
  • Intelligent control systems
  • Biological Informatics: Modeling, Dynamics, and Control
  • System modeling and control of disease processes
  • Cooperating robots for manufacturing and assembly
  • Cooperative Control of Natural and Engineered Groups
  • Flight research with model aircraft
  • System Identification
  • Nonlinear Tracking Control
  • Computational Intelligence

Operations Research and Financial Engineering

  • Intelligent transportation systems
  • Financial management and risk analysis
  • Dynamic resource management
  • Optimal design
  • Signal and image processing


  • The role of simplicity in reasoning by machines
  • Machine learning
  • Default reasoning (or nonmonotonic reasoning) in artificial intelligence


  • Inference, reasoning, problem solving
  • Neural network (connectionist) modeling of cognitive functions
  • In vivo imaging of brain function, using fMRI, EEG, and optical methods