Professor Mary (Missy) Cummings is the director of HAL. She received her B.S. in Mathematics from the US Naval Academy in 1988, her M.S. in Space Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1994, and her Ph.D. in Systems Engineerig from the University of Virginia in 2004.
A naval officer and military pilot from 1988-1999, she was one of the U.S. Navy's first female fighter pilots. She is currently a professor in the Duke University Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, the Duke Institute of Brain Sciences, and the Duke Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. She is also an affiliate professor with the University of Washington’s Aeronautics and Astronautics Department.
Her research interests include human supervisory control, human-unmanned vehicle interaction, human-autonomous system collaboration, human-robot interaction, human-systems engineering, and the ethical and social impact of technology.
Songpo Li, Ph.D.
Songpo is a postdoctoral associate in the Humans and Autonomy Lab started from July 2018. Songpo received his Ph. D. degree from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Colorado School of Mines in 2017. Songpo received the M. S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Wilkes University and B. S. degree in Computer Science from Hebei University of Economics and Business. Songpo is also an Associate Director at the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety (CSCRS). His research interests include 1) human gaze tracking and its application in human understanding and interaction with robots or environments, 2) human teaming and collaboration with robots or intelligent agents and its application in autonomous vehicles, manufacturing, search and rescue, etc. and 3) modeling and regulation of human factors and robot behaviors.
Scott "Esko" Brummel
Scott "Esko" Brummel is a recent graduate of Duke University's Master in Bioethics and Science policy. Through this degree, he has developed skills to identify and create progressive, discovery-focused policies for emerging technologies and scientific research. With Dr. Cummings, Esko is currently working with NASA's Glenn Research Center to study strategies to appropriately assess risk for new technological devices for complex space flight. Beyond HAL, Esko also serves as the lead editors for all things robotics and artificial intelligence related at Duke University's online science policy tracking website SciPol. Esko is also a big fan of reading, running, and volunteering.
Lei (Rachel) Chen
Rachel Chen is an M.S. student in Electrical and Computer Engineering working on acoustic sound detection with machine learning algorithm. She enjoys a vast diversity of hobbies, including coding, cooking, gardening, climbing, and puppies.
Victoria Chibuogu Nneji believes every opportunity in life is a blessing from God to use our gifts for the betterment of society. So, she finds her Research Assistantship with HAL meaningful as our work is intended to improve the interaction of people with new technologies, particularly in mission-critical environments. Victoria was born in Lagos and raised in Durham. Upon earning her B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Columbia University in NYC, she decided to return home and continue graduate studies at the Pratt School of Engineering. Mentoring students to believe in their ability is a favorite of Victoria. She does so at her alma mater NC School of Science & Math, in a monthly college prep series at local libraries, and as a Teaching Assistant at Duke. She was appointed to the Mayor's Education Task Force to Reduce Poverty and as a City Commissioner focused on passenger shuttle and taxi transportation issues. Her work spans planes, trains, and automobiles. Working in the Humans & Autonomy Lab, Victoria has become passionate about mobility and is excited to continue her career in human-centered design of advanced safety-critical technologies. When she is not on a locomotive for her railway research, you can find Victoria enjoying family.
Haibei Zhu is a Ph.D. student in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Duke University. He is currently working in the Humans and Autonmy Lab (HAL) on the project of Development of Control-Aware Cyber Techniques for Attack-Resilient Systems. He is focusing on applying stochastic models to analyze users' operation procedures for controlling unmanned areial vehicles (UAVs) in experiments, and to evaluate their control decisions. Haibei received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, NY, in 2015. Outside of the lab, Haibei enjoys watching movies, traveling and playing table tennis, he is also a big NBA fan.
Yicheng (Jerry) Wang
Jerry Wang is a PhD student in ECE (Robotics) working on optimization of manning on aircraft carrier deck, using agent-based modeling, to achieve both safety and efficiency. Jerry was born in Shandong, China and raised in Guangzhou, China. When he was 16, he moved to Arizona with his family. He obtained a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering with a focus in embedded systems at University of Washington. After graduation, he moved to Boise, Idaho to work as a DRAM test engineer for Micron Technology. He eventually discovered his passion in research, which brought Jerry here to HAL. His current research is using agent-based simulation to find optimal manning on aircraft carrier decks so that both safety and efficiency can be optimized. Beyond research, Jerry is an amateur photographer, and he loves outdoors activities.
Yaoyu Wang is a masters student in Electrical and Computer Engineering working on Machine Learning Tools for Informing Transportation Technology Design. He was born in China and completed his bachelor's degree in Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He majors in Computer Engineering, and he is interested in Software Development and Machine Learning. At HAL, his work focuses on using Machine Learning tools for data analysis and interpreting these models for practical use. His hobbies include basketball and reading.
David Benac is working towards his Master of Business Administration at the Fuqua School of Business. He currently works on drone operator behavior modeling. David was born in Texas and earned his bachelor's degree in Finance from Texas A&M University. His prior work experience includes Chevron, Google, and YouTube. At HAL, his current work focuses on drone (UAV) operator behavior models. After school, he wants to combine his research and business background to champion the safe, efficient, and autonomous transportation of people and goods.
YiFan is a masters student in Electrical and Computer Engineering working on Thermal Object Detection Using Machine Learning. He was born in Wuhan, China, and completed his Bachelor’s degree in Wuhan University of Technology. He majors in Automation in his undergraduate, and currently majored in Electrical and Computer Engineering in Duke University, focusing on Software Development and Machine Learning. At HAL, his work focuses on applying machine learning on thermal data to identify object when traditional RGB camera is unable to detect. Beside academic and research, he also enjoys photography and reading.
Wenchao is a M.S. student in Mechanical Engineering and Material Science working on Thermal Object Detection Using Machine Learning. He was born in Jiangsu, China, and earned his B.S. in Nanjing University of Science and Technology. During his work in HAL and internship, he found his research goal is to integrate humans and automated systems together by machine learning and human robot interaction technologies to improve our daily lives. Beyond research, he enjoys swimming and driving.
Ben is an undergraduate student working on achieving a B.S.E in Electrical & Computer Engineering, B.S.E in Computer Science, and minor in Economics. He is continuing work testing to see how different types of trainings and partially-autonomous control interfaces create better drone pilots. In his free time, Ben competes with Duke Debate and loves to go rock climbing, skiing, and hiking. Following graduation, Ben will work as a software engineer before hopefully attending law school to eventually work on predictive models and software platforms in the legal system.
Yiyao (Yao) Yuan
Yao is pursuing a B.S.E. Electrical and Computer Engineering, B.S. Computer Science, and will complete his 4+1 MENG in ECE at Duke. He currently works on hydrogen-powered drones. Yao Yuan was born in Jiangsu, China. He is interested in hardware, (embedded system, digital, analog, power electronics and so on), and building/prototyping things. With 4 years of prior experiences of working with drones, he has founded and is now running the only dedicated drone club at Duke, DukeAMA, to promote safe drone activities and innovative technology in community. He is now prototyping a hydrogen-powered drone to study the practicality of such combination.
Eddy is pursuing a B.S.E. Electrical and Computer Engineering, B.S. Computer Science, and a certificate in Energy & Environment. His current project is working on dispatch-center control of autonomous vehicles. Eddy grew up in the Midwest (Indiana) and has studied abroad in Finland, where he developed his love for language learning. He dreams of implementing disruptive energy technologies and leading others in the fight to reverse climate change. He imagines a career of promoting universal access to electricity as part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7). He hopes to start an impactful business venture and a non-profit foundation for promoting environmental sustainability through social innovation.
Rebecca is pursuing B.S.E Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and an Aerospace Certificate and Math minor. She is currently assisting with data analysis of drone operator behavior experiment. Rebecca was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but spent her formative years in West Palm Beach. She is primarily interested in implementing ways to make renewable energy widely accessible via green technology. She hopes to apply the intersection aerospace engineering and sustainability by creating more efficient wind-energy system designs and administering these tools globally. Rebecca is involved in a variety of engineering clubs, but in her free time, she likes to read webcomics, browse Twitter, and most recently, voice act in her roommate’s Podcast, Freshly Squeezed Pulp now on iTunes.
Merle is an undergraduate student pursuing a B.A. in Public Policy, Computer Science, and a minor in Spanish. On campus, Merle is involved in research at the Energy Initiative, writes at the Chronicle, and is a member of the Climate Coalition. In his free time, he enjoys mountain biking, hiking, rafting, and skiing. Following graduation, Merle hopes to pursue a career in efficient and environmentally friendly transportation.
Kausthub is a current Masters student in the Mechanical Engineering department, having completed his Bachelors degree in the same field in India. He is currently working on implementing Hidden Markov Models to drone operator behaviour in order to determine how different level of training and autonomy help drone pilots. He found his passion for automation and design through his work at HAL, and hopes to continue that within the industry once he graduates.
Yuansong Feng studies Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in Pratt School of Engineering. His current research topic is in the field of human robotic interaction, in which he builds the testing environment to assess people's awareness of the risk they take when undergoing a risky situation. He is proficient at his tools including different algorithms for various research topics, general front end UI design or NoSQL back end construction.
Rohini is a student from Enloe High School working in the HAL lab on the MOCAP project who enjoys learning about computer science and engineering. She is interested in biomedical engineering and artificial intelligence. One day she hopes to have a career in an intersection between these fields. In her free time Rohini likes to read comics, play guitar, and watch movies.
Andy is a student from the North Carolina School of Science and Math. He worked on the RESCHU suggestion system experiment as an intern at the HAL lab for the summer 2018. He is interested in CS, machine learning, and entrepreneurship. In his free time, Andy enjoys music production and swimming.
Varun is an undergraduate student at Indian Institute of technology, working towards major in Electrical engineering and minor in Computer Science. He is joined HAL as a summer intern with an interest in Human Computer Interaction. He is currently working on the pedestrian app project which aims to alert user of the ongoing traffic. In addition, Varun helped other HAL PhD students in their research. He is an inventor at heart and wishes to develop an impacting piece of technology for the world.
Siyang Chen worked as a research scientist in Humans and Autonomy Lab at Duke University in Summer 2018. He received a M.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Duke University in 2018, and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Automation from Guangdong University of Technology in 2016. His graduate research and intern focused on Full Stack and Distributed Application in Machine Learning and Deep Learning, and his undergraduate research focused on control theory and image recognition in Surface Mounting System. During his research scientist position, he was the lead engineer responsible for HAIER-Psulu Web Application Development. Afterwards, he went to work as a technical staff in Silicon Valley.
Lixiao Huang worked as a postdoctoral associate in the Humans and Autonomy Lab at Duke University from February 2017 to August 2018. She received her Ph.D. degree in Human Factors and Applied Cognition from NC State University Psychology Department in 2016. Prior to that effort, she received two master's degrees between 2006 and 2010 (a M.Ed. degree in Applied Psychology from Beijing Normal University and a M.S. degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Emporia State University), and a B.S. degree in Applied Psychology from Shanxi University in 2005. Her research interests include 1) humans' emotional, cognitive, and behavioral responses to robots; 2) application of human factors in human-robot interface design; and 3) robotics/HRI education. Her postdoc work focused on humans' trust in automation through the development of the Human-Automation Interface for Exploration of Risks (HAIER). She also collected data for the Pedestrian Safety App Experiment, Automated Target Recognition (ATR) project, and the Railroad Dispatchers' Workload Simulation (RDWS) project. She began working as an assistant research scientist at the Center for Human, Artificial Intelligence, and Robot Teaming (CHART) at Arizona State University in September 2018.
Michael Clamann is a senior research scientist at HAL. He received a Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University in 2014. He received a M.I.E. in Industrial and Systems Engineering and a M.S. in Experimental Psychology from North Carolina State University in 2011 and 2002, respectively. He is an Associate Director at the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety (CSCRS) and is the lead editor of Robotics and AI for the Duke Initiative for Science & Society Policy Tracking Program. His current interests include human-automation interaction and multimodal control. He has worked in industry as Human Factors Engineer since 2002, supporting government and private clients in domains including aerospace, defense and telecommunications. He is also a Certified Human Factors Professional (CHFP).
Alexander Stimpson is a senior research scientist at Duke University working in the Humans and Autonomy Lab. He received a B.S. Degree in Biological Engineering from the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA, in 2007, and S.M. and Ph.D. Degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA, in 2011 and 2014, respectively. His dissertation work focused on the application of machine learning models to inform training assessment and intervention. His current research interests include human supervisory control, decision support systems, artificial intelligence, and data mining.
Ran is an undergraduate Industrial and Systems Engineering student at Rutgers University. He joined the lab as a summer intern in 2018, during which he was an experimenter for the pedestrian experiment and data analyst for the SHADO project and HMM modeling of ATR’s impact project. Besides technologies, Ran is a passionate lover of reading, volunteering, and various athletic activities.
Oishi is a student at Cardinal Gibbons High School working on a report on the Aircraft Carrier Deck Simulation in the HAL lab as an intern in summer 2018. She is interested in robotics, computer science, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Oishi hopes to prosper in one or more of those three categories. In her free time, she loves to blast music in her room, watch movies, or read books.
Raya Islam is an undergraduate student working towards a mechanical engineering major and computer science minor. She is currently trying to establish a drone interface that can be utilized in wildlife conservationism. Outside of the lab, Raya works with Girls Engineering Change and loves attending Duke basketball games. Her interests include robots, soccer, camping, and eating Cajun food.
Shi Pu, Ph.D.
Shi Pu is a postdoctoral associate at the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Florida. He is also a visiting scholar at the Humans and Autonomy Lab, Duke University. Shi received a B.S. Degree in Engineering Mechanics from Peking University in 2012, and a Ph.D. Degree in Systems and Information Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2016. His research interests include coordination and control of networked multi-agent systems, distributed stochastic optimization, and collective motion.
Josh is an undergraduate student currently working towards a degree in Mechanical Engineering and also planning on completing the Aerospace Engineering Certificate Program. He is currently leading work on the TriangleTraffic app, which will provide location-based traffic warnings based on real-time knowledge of sports games and other major events. Outside of the lab Josh is interested in robotics and anything that flies, and he swims on Duke's Varsity Swim Team.
Wes Ross earned his B.S. degree in computer engineering from the University of New Mexico in May 2011. As a IGERT WISeNet trainee, Wes’s previous research has focused on the fusion of behavioral sensoring and human driver models for applications in ground vehicles to maximize combined vehicle and driver performance. See the WISeNet Experiment on Intelligent Sensing and Control for Automotive Human Machine Interface and his IEEE CDC publication for more information about his work. His current research is focused on agent based modeling of heterogeneous environments in which machines and humans work together. Outside of the lab, Wes is an active member of the departmental graduate student committee and of the outdoor student-lead leadership group called Building Outdoor Leaders and Doers (BOLD). He expects to graduate in Dec, 2017.
Victor is an undergraduate student working towards a double major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, as well as a minor in Economics. He is currently focusing on Micro-Aerial Vehicles and their potential applications in wildlife conservationism. Outside of the lab, Victor likes to golf, read, work on Duke's Formula SAE car, and swim on Duke’s Varsity Swim Team.
Akshit Budhraja is a Ph.D. student in Electrical and Computer Engineering. His primary research interest is in the field of machine intelligence, and the question that intrigues him the most is: What are the underlying principles of human intelligence, and how to use those principles to better create models of cognition that can later be emulated on machines. At HAL, his work focuses on explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) to develop models that can help people interpret the reasoning behind the decisions made by a machine learning system. Akshit graduated from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering. Prior to joining grad school, he worked as an intern at BigData Experience Lab (BEL), Adobe on a document recommendation system. His other research interests include robotics, natural language processing, game theory and data mining. In his free time, he enjoys biking, playing video games, and learning how to play piano.
Akash is currently working in the Humans and Autonomy Lab (HAL). He attends Central Coast New Tech High School. Akash enjoys working in robotics, exploring how things work, and learning new concepts. He is refining his programming, and concurrently working with the SHADOW and Drone Motion Capture projects. Akash enjoys playing the violin, meeting new people, and building interesting machines.
Delaney is an undergraduate student working towards a major in Neuroscience, as well as a minor in Chemistry and Biology. He is currently focusing on Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy studies dealing with workload and boredom. Outside of the lab, Delaney likes to sail, travel, swim on Duke’s Varsity Swim Team.
Vera Somers is an Honours master student at Delft University of Technology in the department of Control Simulation at the faculty of Aerospace Engineering. She received her Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering at the same university (TU Delft) with a minor in mathematics and statics obtained as an exchange student at the University of Melbourne. Vera joined HAL as an intern and worked on the Drones in Gabon project, where she helped with the testing and implementing of the final system. Furthermore she did research into pedestrian behavior and intent for the Modeling Intent Communication Pathways for Human-Autonomous System Collaboration project. Besides research related interests such as aeronautics and solving mathematical challenging problems, her interest include travelling, exploring new countries and cultures, meeting new people, sport challenges such as a rowing marathon, dancing, spending time with friends and organizing activities for the student society of Aerospace Engineering students in Delft such as a study tour and Airshow.
Vinicius Sampaio is an undergraduate student at Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), in Salvador, Brazil where he studies Automation and Control Engineering. He is a participant of the Brazilian Scientific Mobility Program, through which he completed one academic year at Washington State University. At HAL, Vinicius joined as a summer intern and worked with Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) and its application on a long duration driving simulation, as well on the Drone thermal camera testing. His research interests are robotics, drones, machine learning and computer vision. On his free time, Vini likes to travel with his family, play with drones and go to the beach.
Akash studies Mechanical Engineering at IIT Delhi. He joined HAL as a summer intern with an interest in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. He is currently trying to model human behavioral patterns by analyzing the UAV controllers' operation strategies in controlled environments. He is also working with motion capture system to develop different control systems for drones and determine the effect of training on the operator's performance. Outside the lab, Akash is a theatre enthusiast, enjoys playing drums and reading books. Attempting heavenly cuisine and making sense of its formula is his most loved side interest.
Rocky is working towards a master in mechanical engineering; he is also extensively interested in computer science and machine learning. Rocky is currently working on SHADOW, which is a computer simulation of a rail-dispatch system, to study the workload of different operators within the system and the effect of automation. He likes archery, cycling and skiing, and is constantly excited to learn new things.
Sakshi Agarwal is an undergraduate student at IIT Kharagpur in the department of Electrical Engineering. She is working on a project which aims to determine the negativity of a person. She focuses on sentiment analysis and machine learning aspects of the project. She also worked on the Wildlife Conservation Project where she helped with the testing of the Drone Thermal Camera. Her research interests include algorithms, robotics, embedded systems and artificial intelligence. On her free time, she likes to play badminton, watch movies and spend time with her friends.
Kevin McVay is an undergraduate Senior working towards a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is involved with optimizing Micro-Aerial Vehicles for their use in wildlife conservationism, focusing on the development of lightweight and economical systems for use in the field. Outside of the lab, Kevin is involved in Naval ROTC and was selected to be an aviator for the U.S. Navy. He also enjoys playing soccer, filmmaking, and surfing.
Kevin Nikolaus is a senior mechanical engineering student from Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is currently writing his senior thesis investigating the role that unmanned aerial system (UAS) can play in polar field research. He also researches distributed communication networks and hardware ruggedization. His current work within HAL has focused on gathering data on public drone sentiments via a survey he approved with the IRB. He is also involved with the wildlife conservation drone project where he helps with communication and telemetry.
Ted Zhu is a Ph.D. student in Electrical and Computer Engineering, specializing in Robotics. He currently holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Science and Engineering from The Ohio State University. He is working on the Wildlife Conservation project, Drones in Gabon, which will use thermal imaging to count numbers of the African Forest Elephant at night. His research interests include robotics, programming languages, artificial intelligence, and human interfaces. Outside of the lab, Ted enjoys skiing, watching movies, and experiencing food.
Kaijie is a Mechanical Engineer who hopes to use entrepreneurship to change the world. He studies Mechanical Engineering, specializing in aerospace engineering. His research focuses on drones' impacts on wildlife. He has also designed a Vertical Takeoff and Landing drone with a team in Xiamen University. He is an entrepreneur in heart, who hopes to use engineering knowledge to help develop technologies that will have significant influence in the coming decades.
Erin Song studies Statistics and Computer Science at Rice University. She joined HAL as a summer intern through Duke ECE REU program, with an interest in machine learning and statistical analysis. She is currently working on the SHADOW project, which is a simulation of rail-dispatch system, studying the workload of different operators within the system and the effect of automation. Erin is also implementing an HMM model on the RESCHU project data set. Outside of lab, Erin likes learning different languages, exploring different cultures, and reading.
Serhat Uzumcu graduated from Delft University of Technology (TUDelft), where he studied Aerospace Engineering. He is pursuing a Masters Degree in Control Simulation (C&S) at the Aerospace Engineering department of TUDelft. Serhat is an intern in the Humans and Autonomy Lab and his research is focused on improving the autonomy and safety of flight carrier decks. In addition, Serhat supports other HAL PhD students in their research topics. Other than studying, Serhat enjoys playing basketball, playing ultimate Frisbee, and traveling to new cultures, especially to taste their food.
Lucas Proenca is an undergraduate student at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Lucas is majoring in Control Automation Engineering. He joined HAL to work as a summer intern. Besides Duke, Lucas also visited the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he completed an academic year. On his research at HAL, he is interested in applications of drones in wildlife conservation projects. In his free time, Lucas enjoys spending time with friends, doing outdoors activities like biking and soccer, and playing guitar. Also, he is a passionate fan of Cruzeiro, one of the most victorious Brazilian soccer teams.
Angela is an undergraduate student at the University of Rhode Island and is pursuing degrees in Mechanical Engineering and French. Angela is also in a five-year International Engineering Program, where she will spend one year abroad in France. Her expected graduation date is in May 2017. During the Summer of 2014, she worked on developing and analyzing a survey to discover if there is a gender gap in drone perception and the reasons behind it. In her free time she likes to hike, read, swim, and she is also the vice president of the SWE section at URI.