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Program in Robotics and Intelligent Systems


Robert F. Stengel

Executive Committee

Sigrid M. Adriaenssens, Civil and Environmental Engineering 

Jonathan D. Cohen, Psychology, Princeton Neuroscience Institute 

Gilbert H. Harman, Philosophy 

Yannis G. Kevrekidis, Chemical and Biological Engineering 

Alain L. Kornhauser, Operations Research and Financial Engineering 

Sanjeev R. Kulkarni, Electrical Engineering 

Michael G. Littman, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 

Stephen A. Lyon, Electrical Engineering 

Daniel M. Nosenchuck, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 

Daniel N. Osherson, Psychology 

Clarence W. Rowley III, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 

Szymon Rusinkiewicz, Computer Science 

Robert E. Schapire, Computer Science 

Robert F. Stengel, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 

The Program in Robotics and Intelligent Systems is designed for undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing careers or graduate education in three general areas:

1. The analysis, design, and development of systems that automate manufacturing, transportation, health care, environmental stewardship, scientific research, and other activities,

2. The creation of systems for learning, adaptation, decision making, identification, estimation, and control using concepts drawn from cognitive and biological sciences, and

3. The understanding of human intelligence from the perspective of neuroscience and computation.

New industries and organizations depend increasingly on the interplay between engineering, computing, and the life sciences. Innovations and inventions require multidisciplinary approaches and entrepreneurship, as well as grounding in theory and practice, in topics that may not be covered by a single department. The program offers an integrated set of core and elective courses, introducing students to fundamental concepts, providing depth in specific fields of interest, and setting the stage for further achievement. Students are encouraged to expand their experience through summer internships with companies, government agencies, and university laboratories.

Admission to the Program

The program is open to juniors and seniors who have a satisfactory background in mathematics, science, and computing. Students should have successfully completed:

1. Mathematics through MAT 202 or 204.

2. The A.B. science and technology distributional requirement or the B.S.E. freshman science requirement.

3. COS 126 or ORF 201, or an equivalent computing course.

A student planning to earn the program certificate should contact the program director as early as possible and no later than the seventh week of the fall term of the senior year.

Program of Study

A student in this program must satisfy both program and departmental requirements. The program for each student is worked out by the student and the student's departmental adviser. The program requirements are as follows:

1. All students must take six courses, including three core courses and three electives. To qualify for the certificate, a minimum grade average of B- in the six program courses is required. In some cases, a course can fulfill both a certificate program requirement and a regular departmental requirement (contact program director for details).

Core Courses (one from each group):

Laboratory (1)

ELE 201 Introduction to Electrical Systems and Signals
ELE 203 Electronic Circuits
ELE 206 Introduction to Logic Design
MAE 224 Integrated Engineering Science Laboratory
PHY 210 Experimental Physics Seminar

Control Systems (1)

CBE 445 Process Control
MAE 345 Robotics and Intelligent Systems
MAE 433 Automatic Control Systems
MAE 434 Modern Control

Cognition, Language, and Decision Making (1)

PHI 218 Learning Theory and Epistemology (also ELE 218 and EGR 218)
PSY 255 Cognitive Psychology
PSY 322 Human-Machine Interaction
NEU 258 Fundamentals of Neuroscience (also PSY 258)
NEU 259 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience (also PSY 259)
NEU 330 Introduction to Connectionist Models: Bridging between Brain and Mind (also PSY 330)
WWS 312 The Psychology of Decision Making and Judgment (also PSY 321)

Elective Courses (maximum of two from the same department to satisfy the requirement): an up-to-date list of approved elective courses may be found on the program website.

2. A senior independent work project or thesis must be completed and presented to the program committee on a topic relevant to the program and acceptable to the program committee.

3. Close collaboration with faculty is expected. Program students are expected to demonstrate strong academic performance. Program courses may not be taken on a pass/D/fail basis, unless that is the only grading alternative for the course.

4. Program students must fill out the student profile form at the beginning of each year in which they are members of the program. This is especially important during the senior year to assure that requirements for the certificate will be met by the end of the year.

Certificate of Proficiency

Students who fulfill all program requirements will receive a certificate of proficiency in robotics and intelligent systems upon graduation.