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Naomi Ehrich Leonard to Kick Off 2010-2011 Public Lecture Series: Flocks and Fleets: Collective Motion in Nature and Robotics Robotics Public Lecture

Join the IMA October 11 for the Flocks and Fleets: Collective Motion in Nature and Robotics Public Lecture. From bird flocks to fish schools, animals move together and respond to their environment in remarkable ways; their natural collective motion patterns appear well choreographed and their collective survival strategies seem ingenious. These animal group behaviors inspire design for robotics, where demanding cooperative sensing tasks, such as exploration and mapping in uncertain, dynamic environments, find their analogue in natural group behaviors, such as foraging and feeding. However, bio-inspired design of this kind is not immediate because the natural mechanisms are not well understood.

Naomi Ehrich Leonard, professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, will present her lecture at the University of Minnesota at 7 p.m., Tuesday, October 11, in Willey Hall, 225 19 Ave. S., Minneapolis. Her lecture is the first of the three-part lecture series sponsored by the IMA.

Leonard will present an introduction to the study of collective motion in nature and robotics and will show how mathematical modeling and analysis play a critical role in addressing the joint challenge to explain the enabling mechanisms in animal groups and to define provable mechanisms for robotic groups. For details about this and other IMA public lectures, visit http://www.ima.umn.edu/public-lecture.