Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
Professor Ferrari's research aims at providing intelligent control systems with a higher degree of mathematical structure to guide their application and improve reliability. Decision-making processes are automated based on concepts drawn from control theory and the life sciences. Recent efforts have focused on the development of reconfigurable controllers implementing neural networks with procedural long-term memories. Full-scale simulations show that these controllers are capable of learning from new and unmodeled aircraft dynamics in real time, improving performance and even preventing loss of control in the event of control failures, nonlinear and near-stall dynamics, and parameter variations. New optimal control problems and methods based on computational geometry are being investigated to improve the effectiveness of integrated surveillance systems by networks of autonomous vehicles, such as, underwater gliders and ground robots.
Appointments and Affiliations
- Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
- Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Web Page:
- Ph.D. Princeton University, 2002
- M.A. Princeton University, 1999
- B.S. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 1997
Design and analysis of methods and algorithms for learning and computational intelligence. Theory and approximation properties of network models, such as neural and probabilistic networks, for the purpose of enhancing their learning abilities and improving reliability. Approximate dynamic programming and optimal control techniques, with applications in adaptive flight control and mobile sensor networks. Application of expert systems and systems theory to psychological and cognitive modeling from data.
Awards, Honors, and Distinctions:
- NC Space Grant Consortium Research Seed Award
- International Crime Analysis Association Research Award, International Crime Analysis Association
- NSF Early CAREER Award, National Science Foundation
- Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, Office of Naval Research
- Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, PECASE
- ME 344L: Control of Dynamic Systems
- ME 392: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
- ME 491: Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering
- ME 555: Advanced Topics in Mechanical Engineering
- ME 759: Special Readings in Mechanical Engineering
Representative Publications: (More Publications)
- Foderaro, G; Ferrari, S; Wettergren, TA, Distributed optimal control for multi-agent trajectory optimization, Automatica (2013) [abs].
- Zielinski, DJ; Kopper, R; McMahan, RP; Lu, W; Ferrari, S, Intercept tags: Enhancing intercept-based systems, Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology, VRST (2013), pp. 263-266 [abs].
- Zielinski, DJ; McMahan, RP; Lu, W; Ferrari, S, ML2VR: Providing MATLAB users an easy transition to virtual reality and immersive interactivity, Proceedings - IEEE Virtual Reality (2013), pp. 83-84 [10.1109/VR.2013.6549374] [abs].
- Ferrari, S; Rudd, K; Di Muro, G, A Constrained Backpropagation Approach to Function Approximation and Approximate Dynamic Programming, Reinforcement Learning and Approximate Dynamic Programming for Feedback Control (2013), pp. 162-181 [abs].
- Zhang, G; Ferrari, S; Cai, C, A comparison of information functions and search strategies for sensor planning in target classification., IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics Part B: Cybernetics, vol 42 no. 1 (2012), pp. 2-16 [10.1109/TSMCB.2011.2165336] [abs].