Multicopter Dynamics and Control: Surviving Extreme Disturbances and Rapidly Generating Trajectories

December 1


Flying robots, such as multicopters, are increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives, with current and future applications including personal transportation, delivery services, entertainment, and aerial sensing. These systems are expected to be safe and to have a high degree of autonomy. This talk will discuss the dynamics and control of multicopters, including some research results on trajectory generation for multicopters and fail-safe algorithms. Finally, we will present the application of a failsafe algorithm to a fleet of drones performing as part of a live theater performance on New York's Broadway.


Mark W. Mueller joined the mechanical engineering department at UC Berkeley in September 2016. He completed his PhD studies, advised by Prof. Raffaello D'Andrea, at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control at the ETH Zurich at the end of 2015. He received a bachelors degree from the University of Pretoria, and a masters from the ETH Zurich in 2011, both in Mechanical Engineering.

December 8


Modern computer systems rely heavily on parallel processing. Effectively, on the one hand almost any machine nowadays includes a multicore CPU, even mobile devices. On the other hand, parallel processing capacities are significantly augmented by the graphics processing unit (GPU): general-purpose computing on graphics processing units (GPGPU) is the typical example. In this research, relying on Microsoft’s DirectX 12 programming interfaces, we experiment a novel approach to enable parallel processing for graphical rendering on both the CPU and GPU for the popular Racket functional programming language and development environment (formerly PLT Scheme). And importantly as part of our objective, this is accomplished without compromising Racket’s ease of use and friendliness towards the programmer. In addition, the proposed framework has been empirically evaluated according to various use cases. Performance evaluations measured significant improvements with respect to execution time ([endif]--> speed-up in some cases), CPU utilisation time (reduced by as much as 80% in some scenarios), as well as the frame rate when using animated graphics.


Antoine Bossard is an Associate Professor of the Graduate School of Science, Kanagawa University (Japan). He received the B.E. and M.E. degrees from Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, France in 2005 and 2007, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree from Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan in 2011. His research is focused on graph theory, parallel and distributed computing and interconnection networks, addressing issues such as routing and fault-tolerance. For several years, he has also been conducting research regarding Japanese characters and their memorization. He is the author of multiple peer-reviewed publications in these fields. Antoine is a member of ACM and ISCA.

Towards Intelligent Programing Systems for Modern Computing

May 11

Dr. Xipeng Shen, ACM Distinguished Speaker


Modern computing exhibits new challenges, which includes the rapid increase of the volume and variety of data, the shift of computing towards cloud and IoT, and the fast development of heterogeneity in processors and memory. To address these challenges, one of the keys exists in making programming systems more intelligent. In this talk, Dr. Shen will present the progresses his group has achieved in the recent years towards that goal. These techniques help raise program analysis and optimizations to a new level, make programming systems self learn and evolve, and helps programs overcome hardware limitations to better harness the power of modern heterogeneous systems (e.g., GPU).


Xipeng Shen is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at North Carolina State University. He is a receipt of U.S. DOE Early Career Research Award, U.S. NSF CAREER Award, and Google Faculty Research Award. He is an ACM Distinguished Speaker, and an IBM Center for Advanced Studies (CAS)Faculty Fellow. His research lies in the broad field of compiler and programming systems, with an emphasis on enabling data-intensive high performance computing and intelligent computing through innovations in both compilers and runtime systems. Prior to joining NC State in 2014, Shen was the Adina Allen Term Distinguished Associate Professor at The College of William and Mary. He was a Visiting Scientist at MIT and Microsoft Research, and had served as a consultant to Intel Labs and Cisco. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Rochester in 2006, M.S. from Chinese of Academy of Sciences in 2001, and B.S. from the North China University of Technology in 1998.

Hats Off Speaker

May 1

Prasant Mohapatra, University of California Davis


With the expansive usage of mobile devices and potential growth in the deployment of Internet of things, we will have proliferation of smart sensors in our handheld devices, wearables, and in our surroundings. Making sense out of the web of sensors is what we term as Smart-Sensing. Smart-Sensing would involve accurate and innovative sensing approaches while using minimal resources. In this talk, we will have an overview of a few approaches and novel ideas for smart-sensing using smartphones. Capturing the movement of fingers and hand gestures through accelerometer and gyroscope, we will develop the concept of finger-writing using smartwatches. Sensor assisted biometric authentication will be the next topic of our discussion. Then we will explore how the WiFi APs can detect as well as identify humans. The last part of the talk will demonstrate the unconventional use of smart devices. The talk will conclude with the summary of the scope and applications of Smart-Sensing environments.


Dr. Prasant Mohapatra is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and serves as the Dean and Vice-Provost of Graduate at the University of California, Davis. He is a former Endowed Chair of the Department of Computer Science. In the past, he has held Visiting Professor positions at AT&T, Intel Corporation, Panasonic Technologies, Institute of Infocomm Research (I2R), Singapore, and National ICT Australia (NICTA), University of Padova, Italy, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), and Yonsei University, South Korea. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, and has served on the editorial boards of the IEEE Transactions on Computers, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, IEEE Transaction on Parallel and Distributed Systems, ACM WINET, and Ad Hoc Networks. He has been on the program/organizational committees of several international conferences.

Dr. Mohapatra is the recipient of an Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award from Penn State University, an Outstanding Research Faculty Award from the College of Engineering at the University of California, and the HP Labs Innovation Research Award winner for three years. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and AAAS. Dr. Mohapatra's research interests are in the areas of wireless networks, mobile communications, sensor networks, and Internet protocols.

Disruption in the Transportation Industry – A Discussion on Current Innovation Trends

April 8

Dr. Jane MacFarlane, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab


U.S. transportation infrastructure is undergoing a significant transformation. A confluence of technologies - smart devices with location, sensing and connectivity, ubiquitous data networks, and cloud-based computing infrastructures that can handle large amounts of data ingestion and computation - are being used to digitize and deliver new scaled services at a dramatic pace all of which is disrupting the way the automotive and transportation industries do business. The disruption is occurring from the bottom up as these devices become more intelligent, generate new mobility solutions and integrate more effectively into people’s lives. This discussion will focus on introducing a holistic view of data generation, management and analytics to provide science-based big data analytics that support long-term regional planning, will inform future policy decisions and drive a focus on decarbonization of the transportation system.


Jane Macfarlane, Ph.D. holds a joint appointment at the University of California at Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where she is the Director of the Smart Cities and Sustainable Mobility Center and Executive Director of the Sustainable Transportation Initiative respectively. Dr. Macfarlane has over 30 years of experience in high performance computing, data analytics and geospatial mapping. Macfarlane has been responsible for directing industry research groups including: Head of Research for HERE – a leader in geospatial mapping, Vice President of Process Engineering at Imara – a lithium ion battery company, and Director of Advanced Technology Planning for OnStar at General Motors – the first at-scale, telematics solution. Her research focus is on semantic analytics, big data analytics and visualization, contextualization of data streams and spatially distributed computing. She holds 8 granted patents and currently has 16 patent applications, primarily in the domain of geospatial data analytics. She holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.