Caitlin Grasso has won one of the 2021 National Science Foundation's (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. The UVM Ph.D candidate works with Josh Bongard on artificial intelligence (AI). 

The NSF GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. The five-year fellowship includes three years of financial support including an annual stipend of $34,000 and a cost of education allowance of $12,000 to the institution.

Grasso is part of the “Lifelong Learning Machines” (L2M) program through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). L2M is developing a new cybersecurity method intended to thwart multiple attacks at one time and stop newer attacks less recognizable to existing defenses. The goal is to dramatically improve real-time AI and machine learning.

Grasso also works with The Proteus Institute, which is dedicated to facilitating the creation of bio-inspired AI. The Proteus Institute studies embodied plasticity: how multi-level change supports intelligence in protean systems (cells, organs, organisms, and ecologies), and how best to channel those discoveries into protean machines (robots and artificial biological constructs) and algorithms (machine learning methods).