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Program in Robotics and Intelligent Systems

Director

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.


Courses


MAE 102A Engineering in the Modern World (see CEE 102A)

MAE 102B Engineering in the Modern World (see CEE 102B)

MAE 206 Introduction to Engineering Dynamics   Spring QR

Formulation and solution of equations governing the dynamic behavior of engineering systems. Fundamental principles of Newtonian mechanics. Kinematics and kinetics of particles and rigid bodies. Motion relative to moving reference frames. Impulse-momentum and work-energy relations. Free and forced vibrations of mechanical systems. Introduction to dynamic analysis of electromechanical and fluid devices and systems. Two lectures, one laboratory. Prerequisites: MAT 201, PHY 103, and MAE 223 or CEE 205. N. Kasdin

MAE 221 Thermodynamics   Fall STL

Heat and work in physical systems. Concepts of energy conversion and entropy, primarily from a macroscopic viewpoint. Applications to engines, heat pumps, refrigeration, and air-conditioning systems. In the laboratory students will carry out experiments in the fields of analog electronics and thermodynamics. For MAE concentrators only, a combined final laboratory grade will be issued in the spring laboratory course 224, which includes the laboratory work of both 221 and 224. Three lectures, one class, and one three-hour laboratory. Prerequisites: PHY 103 and MAT 201, which may be taken concurrently. M. Hultmark

MAE 222 Mechanics of Fluids (also CEE 208)   Spring

Introduction to the physical and analytical description of phenomena associated with the flow of fluids. Topics include the principles of conservation of mass, momentum, and energy; lift and drag; open channel flow; dynamic similitude; laminar and turbulent flow. Three lectures, one preceptorial. Prerequisites: MAT 104 and 202; MAT 202 may be taken concurrently. A. Smits

MAE 223 Modern Solid Mechanics (also CEE 323)   Fall

Fundamental principles of solid mechanics: equilibrium equations, reactions, internal forces, stress, strain, Hooke's law, torsion, beam bending and deflection, and deformation in simple structures. Integrates aspects of solid mechanics with applications to mechanical and aerospace structures (engines and wings), and microelectronic and biomedical devices (thin films). Topics include stress concentration, fracture, plasticity, fatigue, visco-elasticity and thermal expansion. The course synthesizes descriptive observations, mathematical theories, and engineering consequences. Two 90-minute lectures. Prerequisites: MAT 104, and PHY 103. M. Haataja

MAE 224 Integrated Engineering Science Laboratory   Spring STL

Core laboratory course for concentrators, who carry out experiments in the fields of digital electronics, fluid mechanics, and dynamics. Students also complete an independent research project. Continuation of the laboratory component of 221; a combined final grade will be issued based upon laboratory work in both 221 and 224. Prerequisite: 221 Typically taken concurrently with 222. One three-hour laboratory, one class. D. Nosenchuck, M. Vocaturo

MAE 228 Energy Solutions for the Next Century (also EGR 228/CBE 228)   Fall STN

Addresses issues of regional and global energy demands, including sources, carriers, storage, current and future technologies, costs for energy conversion, and their impact on climate and the environment. Also focuses on emissions and regulations for transportation. Students will perform cost-efficiency and environmental impact analyses from source to end-user on both fossil fuels and alternative energy sources. Designed for both engineering and non-engineering concentrators. Two 90-minute lectures, one preceptorial. J. Benziger, Y. Ju

MAE 305 Mathematics in Engineering I (also MAT 391/EGR 305/CBE 305)   Fall, Spring QR

An introduction to ordinary differential equations. Use of numerical methods. Equations of a single variable and systems of linear equations. Method of undermined coefficients and method of variation of parameters. Series solutions. Use of eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Laplace transforms. Nonlinear equations and stability; phase portraits. Partial differential equations via separation of variables. Sturm-Liouville theory. Three lectures. Prerequisites: MAT 201 or 203, and MAT 202 or 204, or MAE 303. M. Kostin, H. Stone

MAE 306 Mathematics in Engineering II (also MAT 392)   Spring

Solution of partial differential equations. Complex variable methods. Characteristics, orthogonal functions, and integral transforms. Cauchy-Riemann conditions and analytic functions, mapping, the Cauchy integral theorem, and the method of residues with application to inversion of transforms. Applications to diffusion, wave and Laplace equations in fluid mechanics and electrostatics. Three lectures, one preceptorial. Prerequisite: 305 or equivalent. M. McAlpine

MAE 309 Science and Technology of Nuclear Energy: Fission and Fusion (see AST 309)

MAE 321 Engineering Design   Fall

Focus on design processes and procedures using modern engineering tools. Parametric design techniques are introduced in the computer-design laboratory along with simulation tools. Instruction in basic and computer-based manufacturing methods is given in the manufacturing laboratory. Teams of students conduct projects that involve the complete design cycle from concept and first principles through optimization, prototype, and test. Two lectures, one laboratory. Prerequisites: 206, 221, 222, and 223 or CEE 205, or instructor's permission. L. Martinelli

MAE 322 Mechanical Design   Spring

This course builds on the technical foundation established in 321, and extends the scope to include a range of advanced mechanical design. Teams of students will design and fabricate a wheeled robotic system that will draw upon multidisciplinary engineering elements. The robot will facilitate common daily tasks which vary each year. CAD, CAE, and CAM will be utilized in the design/simulation/prototype process. Labs are designed to reinforce and expand CAD and CAE skills. Two 90-minute lectures, one laboratory. Prerequisites: 321 or instructor's permission. D. Nosenchuck

MAE 324 Structure and Properties of Materials (also MSE 324)   Fall

An introduction to the properties of engineering materials that emphasizes the correlation between atomic and microscopic structure and the macroscopic properties of the materials. Topics include structural, mechanical, thermodynamic, and design-related issues important to engineering applications. Three lectures, one preceptorial. C. Arnold

MAE 325 Matrix Structural Analysis and Introduction to Finite-Element Methods (see CEE 361)

MAE 328 Energy for a Greenhouse-Constrained World (also EGR 328/ENV 328)   Spring STN

This course addresses, in technical detail, the challenge of changing the future global energy system to accommodate constraints on the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. Energy production strategies are emphasized, including renewable energy, nuclear fission and fusion, the capture and storage of fossil-fuel carbon, and hydrogen and low-carbon fuels. Efficient energy use is also considered, as well as intersections of energy with economic development, international security, local environmental quality, and human behavior and values. Two 90-minute lectures. Staff

MAE 331 Aircraft Flight Dynamics   Fall

Introduction to the performance, stability, and control of aircraft. Fundamentals of configuration aerodynamics. Methods for analyzing the dynamics of physical systems. Characterization of modes of motion and desirable flying qualities. Two 90-minute lectures. Prerequisites: 206 and 222. R. Stengel

MAE 332 Aircraft Design   Spring

Building on strength of materials and calculus, this course integrates physical laws to analyze stress and displacement fields in structures. The course introduces basic concepts and equations in three dimensions and then applies them to aircraft structures. Phenomena to be discussed include elastic anisotropy, bending, buckling, fracture, and fatigue. The course is important for anyone interested in structured design. Two 90-minute lectures. Prerequisites: 335 or instructor's permission. L. Martinelli

MAE 334 Materials Selection and Design   Not offered this year

Introduction to the basic principles involved in the selection and design of engineering materials and structures. Review of the role of materials in the design process, engineering materials, and relevant mechanics. Materials selection and design involving considerations of shape, weight, processing, cost, and aesthetics. Framework for failure analysis, design of balanced properties, and performance. Prerequisite: 223 or CEE 205, or instructor's permission. Three lectures. W. Soboyejo

MAE 335 Fluid Dynamics   Fall

Low-speed incompressible potential flow theory and high speed compressible flows. Low-speed topics include circulation, vorticity, d'Alembert's paradox, potential flows, and finite wing theory. High-speed topics include speed of sound, nozzles, shock waves, expansion waves, and effects of heat addition and friction. Three lectures, one preceptorial. Prerequisites: 221, 222 or instructor's permission. D. Nosenchuck

MAE 336 Viscous Flows   Not offered this year

Viscous flow with main emphasis on boundary layer theory and CFD methods. Derivation of Navier-Stokes equations, the boundary layer approximations and boundary conditions. Introduction to computational methods for fluid flow. Studies of typical laminar boundary layers, the transition problem, semi-empirical analysis of turbulent boundary layers, and convective heat transfer. Three lectures. Prerequisites: 221, 222 or instructor's permission. Staff

MAE 339 Independent Work   Fall

Independent work is intended for juniors or seniors doing only a one-term project. Students develop a topic of their own or select from a list of topics prepared by the faculty. They develop a work plan and select an adviser and are assigned a second reader. At the end of the term, students submit a written report and make a presentation to faculty, staff, fellow students, and guests. Enroll in either 339 for fall or 340 for spring. L. Martinelli

MAE 339D Independent Work with Design   Fall

Independent work with design is intended for juniors or seniors doing only a one-term project. Similar to 339, with the principal difference that the project must incorporate aspects and principles of design in a system, product, vehicle, device, apparatus, or other design element. At the end of the term, students submit a written report and make a presentation to faculty, staff, fellow students, and guests. Enroll in 339D for fall, or 340D for spring. L. Martinelli

MAE 340 Independent Work   Spring

Independent work is intended for juniors or seniors doing only a one-term project. Students develop a topic of their own or select from a list of topics prepared by the faculty. They develop a work plan and select an adviser and are assigned a second reader. At the end of the term, students submit a written report and make a presentation to faculty, staff, fellow students, and guests. Enroll in either 339 for fall or 340 for spring. L. Martinelli

MAE 340D Independent Work with Design   Spring

Independent work with design is intended for juniors or seniors doing only a one-term project. Similar to 340, with the principal difference that the project must incorporate aspects and principles of design in a system, product, vehicle, device, apparatus, or other design element. At the end of the term, students submit a written report and make a presentation to faculty, staff, fellow students, and guests. Enroll in 339D for fall, or 340D for spring. L. Martinelli

MAE 341 Space Flight   Not offered this year

This course addresses the various concepts that form the basis of modern space flight and astronautics. The focus is on space flight analysis and planning and not hardware or spacecraft design. The topics include space flight history, orbital mechanics, orbit perturbations, near-Earth and interplanetary mission analysis, orbit determination and satellite tracking, spacecraft maneuvers and attitude control, launch, and entry dynamics. Use of advanced software for the planning and analysis of space missions. Two 90-minute lectures. Prerequisite: 305 or instructor's permission. N. Kasdin

MAE 342 Space System Design   Not offered this year

This course examines the design of a modern spacecraft or complex space system, including the space environment and its impact on design. The principles and design aspects of the structure, propulsion, power, thermal, communication, and attitude subsystems are studied. The course also introduces systems engineering, project management, manufacturing and test, mission operations, mission design, and space policy. Acting as a single project team, students will design a satellite or space system from conception to critical design review. Two 90-minute lectures. Prerequisite: 305; 341 recommended, or instructor's permission. N. Kasdin, E. Choueiri

MAE 344 Introduction to Bioengineering and Medical Devices   Not offered this year STN

The fundamental concepts required for the design and function of implantable medical devices, including basic applications of materials, solid mechanics and fluid mechanics to bone/implant systems. The course examines the interfaces between cells and the surfaces of synthetic biomaterials that are used in orthopedic and dental applications. Prerequisites: MAT 103 and 104, and PHY 103 and 104. Two 90-minute lectures. W. Soboyejo

MAE 345 Robotics and Intelligent Systems   Not offered this year

This course provides students with a working knowledge of methods for design and analysis of robotic and intelligent systems. Particular attention is given to modeling dynamic systems, measuring and controlling their behavior, and making decisions about future courses of action. Topics include system modeling and control, principles of decisionmaking, Monte Carlo evaluation, genetic algorithms, simulated annealing, neural networks, and expert systems. Prerequisites: MAT 202 or 204, and COS 111 or COS 126 or ORF 201. A.B. students must have met ST requirement; B.S.E. students must have met freshman science requirement. Two 90-minute lectures. R. Stengel

MAE 353 Science and Global Security (see WWS 353)

MAE 412 Microprocessors for Measurement and Control   Fall

Introduction to microcontroller applications. A laboratory course dealing with the design and construction of self-contained computer-based electronics projects. Major topics include a review of digital and linear electronics, an introduction to microcomputer architecture and assembly language programming, device interfacing, and system design. Two lectures, two two-hour laboratories. Prerequisite: 221 and 224, or equivalent. M. Littman

MAE 423 Heat Transfer   Fall

Covers the fundamentals of heat transfer and applications to practical problems in energy conversion and conservation, electronics, and biological systems. Emphasis will be on developing a physical and analytical understanding of conductive, convective, and radiative heat transfer, as well as design of heat exchangers and heat transfer systems involving phase change in process and energy applications. Students will develop an ability to apply governing principles and physical intuition to solve multi-mode heat transfer problems. Three lectures, one preceptorial. D. Nosenchuck

MAE 425 Introduction to Physical Oceanography (see GEO 425)

MAE 426 Rocket and Air-Breathing Propulsion Technology   Spring

The study of principles, flight envelopes, and engine designs of rocket and ram/scramjet propulsion systems. Topics include jet propulsion theory, space mission maneuver, combustion control, and system components of chemical and non-chemical rockets (nuclear and electrical propulsion), gas turbine, ramjet, and scramjet engines. Characteristics, optimal flight envelopes, and technical challenges of combined propulsion systems will be analyzed. Prerequisites: 221 and 222. Three lectures. Y. Ju

MAE 427 Energy Conversion and the Environment: Transportation Applications   Spring

An overview of energy utilization in, and environmental impacts of, current and future propulsion systems for ground, air, and space propulsion applications. Introduces students to principles of advanced internal combustion, electric hybrid, and fuel cell energy conversion systems for ground transportation.Relevant thermodynamics, chemistry, fluid mechanics, and combustion fundamentals will be stressed. Performance properties of power plants, control of air pollutant emissions, and minimization of resource-to application carbon emissions will be explored.Three lectures, one preceptorial. Prerequisites: 221, 222, or instructor's permission. D. Nosenchuck

MAE 431 Solar Energy Conversion (see ELE 431)

MAE 433B Automatic Control Systems   Spring

Introduction to the analysis and design of automatic control systems. Mathematical models of mechanical and electrical feedback systems. Block diagram algebra. Accuracy, speed of response, and stability. Root locus, Bode, and Nyquist techniques. Introduction to digital control. Regulation, tracking, and compensation. Effects of nonlinearity, disturbance, and noise. Prerequisite: 305 or instructor's permission. Two 90-minute lectures. Laboratory mini-project. C. Rowley, M. Littman

MAE 434 Modern Control   Fall

Introduction to modern state-space methods for control system design and analysis. Application to multiple-input, multiple-output dynamical systems, including robotic systems and flexible structures. State-space representation of systems. Stability. Controllability and observability. State feedback control. Observers and output feedback control. Optimal control design methods. Three lectures. N. Leonard

MAE 435 Special Topics in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering   Not offered this year

Presentation of timely and advanced topics in mechanical and aerospace engineering. Subject matter will vary depending upon the interest of the faculty and students. Possible topics could include acoustics and noise, biomechanics, lasers, space propulsion, solar energy conversion. Three lectures. Staff

MAE 436 Special Topics in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering   Spring

Presentation of timely and advanced topics in mechanical and aerospace engineering. Subject matter will vary depending upon the interest of the faculty and students. Possible topics could include acoustics and noise, biomechanics, lasers, space propulsion, solar energy conversion. E. Choueiri

MAE 440 Senior Project   Spring

The senior project is a year-long independent study intended for students who choose to work in teams of two or more. Work begins in the fall, but enrollment is only in the spring term when a double grade is awarded. Groups develop their own topic or select a topic from a list of topics prepared by the faculty. Groups develop a work plan and select an adviser and are assigned a second reader for their work. A written progress report is expected at the end of the fall term. Groups submit a written final report and make an oral presentation to faculty, staff, fellow students, and guests at the end of the spring term. L. Martinelli

MAE 440D Senior Project with Design   Spring

Similar to 440 with the principal difference that the team or group project must incorporate aspects and principals of design, whether for a system, product, vehicle, device, software, or apparatus. The year-long senior project with design may be used to satisfy a portion of the department's design requirement. L. Martinelli

MAE 442 Senior Thesis   Spring

The senior thesis is an independent study for individual students. Work begins in the fall, but enrollment is only in the spring term when a double grade is awarded. Students develop their own topic or select one from a list prepared by the faculty. Students develop a work plan and select an adviser and are assigned a second reader for their work. A written progress report is expected at the end of the fall term. Students submit a written final report and make an oral presentation to faculty, staff, fellow students, and guests at the end of the spring term. L. Martinelli

MAE 442D Senior Thesis with Design   Spring

Similar to 442 with the principal difference that the thesis must incorporate aspects and principals of design, whether for a system, product, vehicle, device, software, or apparatus. The year-long senior thesis with design may be used to satisfy a portion of the department's design requirement. L. Martinelli

MAE 445 Entrepreneurial Engineering (also EGR 445)   Not offered this year

Addresses the business, financial, and marketing components that lead to successful entrepreneurial ventures. Students engage directly in the process of identifying, creating, and exploiting entrepreneurial opportunities. Entrepreneurial design is introduced and developed. Working in small multidisciplinary teams, students identify, design, and prototype a highly marketable, consumer product. Classic and modern market analysis, manufacture and distribution are introduced along with business planning and finance. Open to AB and BSE students. Two 90-minute lectures D. Nosenchuck

MAE 455 Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment (see ELE 455)

MAE 456 Global Technology   Spring

An introduction to key ideas in science, technology, humanities, and social sciences relevant to global development. Highlights essential needs in the rural environment and considers how to develop environmentally friendly scientific and technological solutions to satisfy these needs. Also examines the potential role of global technology in the development of rural and urban areas within the developing world. Morning lectures will be followed by field activities and group projects. Enrollment is restricted to students participating in the Tropical Biology Program in Kenya. W. Soboyejo