UTSA Academy of Distinguished Researchers Inducts AI Thought Leader | UTSA today | UTSA

Akopian and Kudithipudi worked together to establish a research collaboration with the United States Army Research Laboratory and submitted a proposal from the National Science Foundation’s AI Institute. During these discussions, Akopian drew on Kudithipudi’s understanding of neuroscience theory, computational modeling, neuromorphic engineering and emergent device physics, and AI models that give him a unique strategic advantage as a researcher in this field.

“This nomination was incontrovertible because I am very impressed with Dhireesha’s approaches to developing brain-inspired computing systems that solve real-world problems. Her research on neuromodulation in deep learning models, contextual modulation in convolutional neural networks, dynamic programming of spiked neural networks, neuromorphic accelerators and hardware has shaped and aided many other studies and expanded the understanding of brain-inspired systems,” Akopien explained. “Dhireesha is a vital voice in the field of AI.”

Sponsored by the UTSA Knowledge Enterprise, the private induction ceremony will take place on Thursday, November 3.

Since joining UTSA in 2019, Kudithipudi has received over $2.3 million in funding awards from various federal agencies, including Argonne National Laboratory, National Science Foundation, Rochester Institute of Technology, San Antonio Medical Foundation, Sandia National Laboratories, Seagate Technology LLC, the San Antonio Partnership for Precision Therapeutics and the US Air Force.

She is co-principal investigator on an $18 million federal research contract with the Air Force Research Laboratory to accelerate research and development in strategic areas beneficial to both organizations.

In the spring of 2022, Kudithipudi was lead author on “Biological underpinnings for lifelong learning machines,” which was published in Nature Machine Intelligence, in collaboration with 22 other Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-funded universities, at the support from DARPA’s Lifelong Learning Machines (L2M) program, which provided substantial funding to Kudithipudi.

The paper is a global perspective on the biological processes of lifelong learning and a view of how these can be used to guide the design of artificial systems. The fundamental question this article addresses is whether a computer can pass for being human; can we teach him to be perceived as human by humans? This paper has become a new resource for the future of AI learning, defining how artificial systems can think, act and adapt in the real world, similar to humans. His research on the adaptation of artificial intelligence has also been featured in the Nature Outlook article, Learning Over a Lifetime.

Kudithipudi was also a plenary speaker at the Nature Machine Intelligence conference, “AI, Neuroscience and Hardware: From Neural to Artificial Systems and Back Again” at the DZNE campus in Bonn, Germany. Recently, his team presented their research on bio-inspired AI in Göttingen, Germany, and gave an invited talk at the ELLIS/CRC workshop held in Crete, Greece.

Kudithipudi believes an AI workforce should reflect the rich diversity of society. The LoveLace project, led by Kudithipudi and funded by AMD, fills this gap by offering young women in STEM fields to engage in research and curriculum activities related to AI.

The induction into the academy marks the final honor for Kudithipudi, who was recently named a member of Drexel University’s Executive Leadership in Academic, Technology, Engineering and Science program.

“It is an honor for our office to sponsor the Academy over the years. This year’s recipient, Dr. Kudithipudi, is an outstanding researcher, educator, and scholar whose leadership in AI and its associated research consortium led by UTSA has enhanced our national and international reputation as an R1 institution,” said Jaclyn ShawActing Vice President for Research, Economic Development and Knowledge Enterprise.

The UTSA Academy of Distinguished Researchers is committed to fostering excellence in research and scientific inquiry. Founded in 2015, the academy honors and recognizes outstanding faculty who are accomplished scholars and who share the university’s ongoing commitment to research excellence.

Through a rigorous nomination process, the academy selects members who promote the highest quality of research and scholarly activity. The members, 25 to date, represent a variety of disciplines in the arts, business, engineering, humanities, social sciences and sciences.

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