Speakers 2021


Prof. Zhong-Ping JIANG

Tandon School of Engineering, New York University

Title:Learning to Control Dynamic Systems: Stability and Robustness 

Bio: Zhong-Ping JIANG received the M.Sc. degree in statistics from the University of Paris XI, France, in 1989, and the Ph.D. degree in automatic control and mathematics from the Ecole des Mines de Paris (now, called ParisTech-Mines), France, in 1993, under the direction of Prof. Laurent Praly.

Currently, he is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Tandon School of Engineering, New York University. His main research interests include stability theory, robust/adaptive/distributed nonlinear control, robust adaptive dynamic programming, reinforcement learning and their applications to information, mechanical and biological systems. In these fields, he has written five books and is author/co-author of over 450 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers.

Dr. Jiang has served as Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Senior Editor and Associate Editor for numerous journals. Prof. Jiang is a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the IFAC, a Fellow of the CAA and is among the Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers.

Abstract: This talk looks at problems at the interface of machine learning and automatic control that are motivated by open challenges arising from cyber-physical systems and computational neuroscience. In particular, it will introduce a new design paradigm, called “Robust Adaptive Dynamic Programming (RADP)”, that is fundamentally different from traditional control theory. In the classical paradigm, controllers are often designed for a given class of dynamical control systems; it is a model-based design. In the RADP paradigm, controllers are learned online using real-time input-output data collected along the trajectories of the control system in question. An entanglement of techniques from reinforcement learning and model-based control theory is advocated to find a sequence of suboptimal controllers that will approximate the optimal solution as learning steps increase. Rigorous stability and robustness analysis can be derived for the closed-loop system with real-time learning-based controllers. The effectiveness of RADP as a new framework for data-driven nonlinear control design is demonstrated via its applications to electric power systems, autonomous vehicles, and biological motor control. 


Prof. Stephen Brewster

Professor of Human Computer Interaction

School of Computing Science

University of Glasgow


Title: Designing new types of haptics for Virtual Reality

Bio: Stephen Brewster is a Professor of Human-Computer Interaction in the School of Computing Science at the University of Glasgow. His research focuses on multimodal HCI, or using multiple sensory modalities and control mechanisms (particularly audio, haptics and gesture) to create a rich, natural interaction between humans and technology. His work has a strong experimental focus, applying perceptual research to practical situations. A long-term focus has been on haptics and virtual reality and how we can design better user interactions for users. Current work is looking at ultrasound haptics and VR/AR applications for passengers in autonomous vehicles. Other areas of interest include accessibility, wearable devices and in-car interaction. He pioneered the study of non-speech audio and haptic interaction for mobile devices with work starting in the 1990's.

His work has over 17,000 citations. He is a Member of the ACM SIGCHI Academy, an ACM Distinguished Speaker, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He was General Chair of ACM CHI 2019, the biggest conference in the field of HCI, which was held in Glasgow. 


Abstract: In this presentation, I will talk about three new types of haptic displays and how they can contribute to enriching interaction in future Augmented and Virtual Reality. The first is ultrasound haptics, a novel form of non-contact haptics where haptic forces can be ‘beamed’ to a user’s hands. This means users do not need to hold controllers to get haptic feedback, making interactions in VR easier and uncluttered. However, key questions remain about how to create good haptic cues using ultrasound as the forces produced are limited. I will discuss some of our research into improving usability and some potential applications of ultrasound. The second new form of haptic display is temperature. Humans are very good at detecting warming and cooling, but these skills are not taken advantage of in current user interfaces or virtual environments. I will show some of our work on temperature perception, the design of thermal cues, and how they can contribute to novel affective, emotional feedback. Electrotactile haptics is another new technique for presenting information through the skin with very flexible and thin actuators. These stimulates the mechanoreceptors in a different way and can create a unique set of haptic stimuli. However, there is very little research on how to design haptic cues based on this technology. I will present some of our work on identifying the best electrotactile parameters and how they can be used to produce novel haptic cues for Virtual Reality.


Prof. Clément Gosselin

Université Laval, Québec, Canada

Title: Inertia generators : ungrounded haptic devices for the rendering of virtual objects and the guidance of the visually impaired

Bio: Clément Gosselin received the B. Eng. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Université de Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada, in 1985, and the Ph.D. degree from McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada in 1988. He was then a post-doctoral fellow at INRIA in Sophia-Antipolis, France in1988–89. In 1989 he was appointed by the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Université Laval, Québec where he is a Full Professor since 1997. He is currently holding a Canada Research Chair in Robotics and Mechatronics since January 2001. He was a visiting researcher at the RWTH in Aachen, Germany in 1995, at the University of Victoria, Canada in 1996 and at the IRCCyN in Nantes, France in 1999.

His research interests are kinematics, dynamics and control of robotic mechanical systems with a particular emphasis on the mechanics of grasping, the kinematics and dynamics of parallel manipulators and the development of human-friendly robots and haptic devices. His work in the aforementioned areas has been the subject of numerous publications in international journals and conferences as well as of several patents and two books. He has been directing many research initiatives, including collaborations with several Canadian and foreign high-technology companies and he has trained more than 120 graduate students. He is currently an Associate Editor of the ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics.

Dr. Gosselin received several awards including the ASME DED Mechanisms and Robotics Committee Award in 2008, the ASME Machine Design Award in 2013 and the IFToMM Award of Merit in 2019. He was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada in 2010 for contributions to research in parallel mechanisms and underactuated systems. He is a fellow of the ASME, of the IEEE and of the Royal Society of Canada.

Abstract: This presentation investigates the design and experimental development of programmable inertia generators. An inertia generator is a hand-held haptic device that has a programmable inertia. By moving internal masses in reaction to accelerations induced by the user, the effective inertia of the device is modified in order to render a prescribed inertia. In this presentation, a one-degree-of-freedom (1-dof) device with one internal moving mass is first proposed. The corresponding dynamic model is developed and the rendering capabilities of the device are investigated. Then, a controller is designed to produce the appropriate motion of the internal mass in reaction to the acceleration induced by the user. A prototype is presented and experimental results are discussed. A mechanical architecture is then proposed for the design of a planar 3-dof inertia generator. The corresponding dynamic model is derived and it is shown that the generalized inertia matrix of the proposed mechanism is always of full rank. The rendering capabilities of the device are also investigated.  A spherical 3-dof inertia generator is then shown that uses the gyroscopic effect to render prescribed inertias.

Finally, a 1-dof haptic device based on the same principles is developed for the purpose of the guidance of the visually impaired.


Prof. Hamid A. Toliyat

Texas A&M University, USA

Title: to be updated

Bio: Prof. Toliyat received the B.S, degree from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran in 1982, the M.S. degree from West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV in 1986, and the Ph.D. degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI in 1991, all in electrical engineering.  Following receipt of the Ph.D. degree, he joined the faculty of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran as an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering.  In March 1994 he joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University where he is currently Raytheon endowed professor of electrical engineering.

Dr. Toliyat has received the prestigious Nikola Tesla Field Award for “outstanding contributions to the design, analysis and control of fault-tolerant multiphase electric machines” from IEEE in 2014, the Cyrill Veinott Award in Electromechanical Energy Conversion from the IEEE Power Engineering Society in 2004, Patent and Innovation Award from Texas A&M University System Office of Technology Commercialization’s in 2018, 2016 and 2007, TEES Faculty Fellow Award in 2006, Distinguished Teaching Award in 2003, E.D. Brockett Professorship Award in 2002, Eugene Webb Faculty Fellow Award in 2000, and Texas A&M Select Young Investigator Award in 1999.  He has also received the Space Act Award from NASA in 1999, and the Schlumberger Foundation Technical Awards in 2001 and 2000.

Prof. Toliyat work is highly cited by his colleagues more than 24,000 times and has an H-index of 78. Dr. Toliyat was an Editor of IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion.  He was Chair of the IEEE-IAS Industrial Power Conversion Systems Department of IEEE-IAS, and is a member of Sigma Xi.  He is a fellow of the IEEE, the recipient of the 2008 Industrial Electronics Society Electric Machines Committee Second Best Paper Award as well as the recipient of the IEEE Power Engineering Society Prize Paper Awards in 1996 and 2006, and IEEE Industry Applications Society Transactions Third Prize Paper Award and Second Prize Paper Award in 2006 and 2016, respectively.   His main research interests and experience include analysis and design of electrical machines, variable speed drives for traction and propulsion applications, fault diagnosis of electric machinery, and magnetic gear integrated electric machines.  Prof. Toliyat has supervised more than 110 graduate students, post docs, and research engineers.  He has published around 500 technical papers, presented more than 95 invited lectures all over the world, and has 26 issued and pending US patents.  He is the author of 10 books and book chapters including DSP-Based Electromechanical Motion Control, CRC Press, 2003, the co-editor of Handbook of Electric Motors - 2nd Edition, Marcel Dekker, 2004, and the co-author of Electric Machines – Modeling, Condition Monitoring, and Fault Diagnosis, CRC Press, Florida, 2013.

He was the General Chair of the 2005 IEEE International Electric Machines and Drives Conference in San Antonio, Texas.  Dr. Toliyat is a Professional Engineer in the State of Texas.

Abstract: to be updated