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01/28/92

CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (415) 723-2558

M.I.T. robotics expert to speak at Stanford Feb. 18-19

STANFORD -- Rodney A. Brooks, a prominent artificial intelligence researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will present his views on robotics Feb. 18 in a public lecture on the Stanford University campus.

Brooks also will give a more technical lecture Feb. 19 on how to develop robots composed of specialized, small robots rather than by writing programs to teach a single robot to perform complex activities.

Brooks, who works on autonomous robots and behavior-based artificial intelligence at MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, was invited by Stanford's Computer Science Department to give the annual George and Sandra Forsythe Memorial Lectures in Computer Science. The first of the two annual Forsythe lectures is intended to be of general interest to people in the computing and engineering community.

The first lecture, titled "An Alternate Synthesis for Artificial Intelligence," is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, in Jordan Hall (Building 420), room 40, on the main quadrangle. A reception in the adjacent Margaret Jacks Hall will follow the lecture.

The second lecture, "Simulation Versus Embodied Agents," is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, in Terman Auditorium.

Brooks' ideas about the use of small, simple robots that he calls "agents," and that are often likened to insects, have earned him a reputation as an innovative thinker in artificial intelligence. He holds bachelor's and master's of science degrees from Flinders University and received a doctorate from Stanford in 1981.

He has been on the research staff at Carnegie-Mellon University and MIT, and taught at Stanford in 1983-84. Since then, he has been on the faculty at MIT.

The annual Forsythe lectures honor the memory of computer science pioneers George and Sandra Forsythe. George played a leading role in the founding of Stanford's Computer Science Department and was its first chairman. Sandra was a noted computer science educator and textbook author.

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