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Uvm Scientist Wins Highest National Award

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Joshua Bongard

University of Vermont researcher Joshua Bongard

Credit: Courtesy of Medill News Service

U.S. President Barack Obama has recognized University of Vermont researcher Joshua Bongard with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for his work in evolutionary robotics.

Bongard uses computers to run genetic algorithms, which simulate evolution in robots to automatically become better and more efficient over time. His research grew out of the idea that intelligence always needs a body, and that the body and brain must evolve at the same time if creatures are to evolve, says former Ph.D. adviser Rolf Pfeifer, who now directs the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Zurich.

Bongard will receive $500,000 to support his research. "The PECASE award will allow my students and I to further explore how evolution can be simulated in a computer and used to evolve smarter robots," Bongard says.

He also plans to develop a Web site so anyone can simulate robotics experiments. "The benefit for us is that we have more people contributing to the discovery process," Bongard says.

From Rutland Herald (VT)
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Abstracts Copyright © 2011 Information Inc. External Link, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 


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