CICS Professor Part of Research Duo to Receive Armstrong Fund for Science Award

Philip Thomas
Philip Thomas

Philip Thomas' and Shannon Roberts' collaborative project, "Improving Warning Systems of Driving Automation Systems Through Reinforcement Learning," has been selected to receive this year's Armstrong Fund for Science award.

The Armstrong Fund for Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst annually awards faculty members who are pursuing research that challenges conventional concepts and approaches ideas with innovation. The fund was founded in 2006 following a gift from John and Elizabeth Armstrong.

Thomas, an assistant professor of computer science, has teamed up with Roberts, an assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, for their research project which aims to solve problems within automated driving systems.

The award grants them $36,000 in funds for their two-year project.

The selection committee noted that the researchers' project is "bringing together the historical leadership in reinforcement learning" while addressing "the problem in of safety in driving automation," according to a statement from Michael Malone, the vice chancellor for research and engagement.

Thomas and Roberts will be honored at the faculty honors dinner on April 30th.