2013 Graduation Ceremony Information

Ph.D. & Master's Ceremony Keynote Speaker: Dr. Vijay Kumar

Vijay Kumar is the UPS Foundation Professor and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Currently on sabbatical leave, Kumar is serving as the Assistant Director for Robotics and Cyber Physical Systems at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Kumar studies collective behaviors in biological and robotic systems to design novel architectures, create abstractions for systems of interacting individuals, and develop new algorithms for cooperating robots. The overarching themes in his research include modeling nature and developing bio-inspired architectures and algorithms, understanding group/individual dynamics, and the design and composition of controllers for robust, scaleable autonomous systems.

Kumar is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). He has served on the editorial boards of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, the ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics and the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics (STAR). He is the recipient of the 1991 National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator award, the 1996 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching (University of Pennsylvania), the 1997 Freudenstein Award for significant accomplishments in mechanisms and robotics, the 2012 ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Award, the 2012 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Distinguished Service Award and a 2012 World Technology Network Award. He has won best paper awards at DARS 2002, ICRA 2004, ICRA 2011, and RSS 2011 and has advised doctoral students who have won Best Student Paper Awards at ICRA 2008, RSS 2009, and DARS 2010. He is also a Distinguished Lecturer in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and an elected member of the Robotics and Automation Society Administrative Committee (2007-2012).

Kumar received his Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 1987. He has been on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania since 1987.