University of Vermont

DARPA MSEE Grant Awarded to CEMS Researchers

Josh BongardChris DanforthThe Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Mathematics of Sensing, Exploitation, and Execution (MSEE) program has awarded $500,000 to Drs. Joshua Bongard and Christopher M. Danforth, assistant professors in the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. The mission of DARPA is to pursue and exploit fundamental science and innovation for National Defense in advanced research and development in enabling technical areas. The goal of their research is to teach sensors how to think.

"Our goal is to develop a novel method to combat the 'data deluge' challenge, which is that modern technology generates far more data than any single human can deal with. More specifically, we will create models that explain the torrent of data coming from imaging studies of the most hierarchical, complex system we know of: the human brain," says Josh Bongard, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Principal Investigator for the grant.To do this, Bongard and Danforth will team up with neuroscientists in the UVM College of Medicine to use their MRI data sets as a starting point.

"This prestigious award exemplifies research capabilities possible through faculty collaborating across disciplines," says Bernard "Chip" Cole, Interim Dean for the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.

Bongard and Danforth will use the UVM's Vermont Advanced Computing Center to accomplish this research. To read Christopher Trout's article entitled, "DARPA's MSEE to develop new mathematical language, race of sentient machines" visit:

For more information on the DARPA grant visit:

Background Information:

Dr. Bongard is recognized nationally and internationally for his research on evolutionary robotics. He received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award from the Division of Information & Intelligent Systems and the prestigious and highly competitive New Faculty Fellowship from Microsoft Research. He also was named by MIT Technology Review Magazine as one of the world's top innovators under 35. To read more about Dr. Bongard's research visit:

Dr. Danforth works on a variety of applied mathematics problems related to large-scale data and modeling. His research has been covered by Science Magazine and The New York Times.To read more, visit:

Contact information:

Dr. Josh Bongard
Office:329 Votey
Phone: (802) 656-4665;
Cell: (802) 578-4445

Dr. Christopher Danforth:
207B Lord House
Phone: (802) 656-3062