News

SIFT received the Patriot Award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). The Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support employees serving in the National Guard or Reserve, including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed.

For the SAFE-P II SBIR project, NASA has evaluated SIFT as "Exceptional" on all aspects of NASA's official Contractor Performance Assessment Report, including Quality of Product, Schedule, and Cost Control.

Dr. J. Benton has been awarded patent 8,473,447, "AI planning based quasi-monte carlo simulation method for probabilistic planning," with Dr. Sungwook Yoon, Dr. Minh Do, and Prof. Wheeler Ruml. This patent has a variety of applications including planning and scheduling in manufacturing, finding plans for mobile robots, and traffic management.

The Minneapolis affiliate of ABC recently aired an interview with SIFT staff about our "SAGA" (Sequential Art via Game Assist) program. The news segment describes how SAGA technology helps veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) work through their trauma story by writing and creating personal graphic novels or comics.

Non-Intrusive Detection of Psycho-Social Dimensions using Sociolinguistics, authored by SIFT researchers Peggy Wu, Jeffrey Rye, Christopher Miller and Sonja Schmer-Galunder has been accepted to the Social Network Analysis in Applications 2013 conference (SNAA 13).

NASA has awarded SIFT a Phase I SBIR for exploring the use of virtual environments for astronauts in deep space missions. ANSIBLE (A Network of Social Interactions for Bilateral Life Enhancement) can be used pre, during, and post flight to connect the flight crew with their family, friends, and the ground crew to provide a sense of social consistency and permanence.

Dr. Ugur Kuter has collaborated with University of Maryland graduate students Ron Alford and Vikas Shivashankar and faculty Dr. Dana Nau on a paper that will appear in the proceedings of the 2013 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-13). This work analyzes Hierarchical Task Network (HTN) planning in light of its difficulty providing complete domain knowledge, i.e., a complete and correct set of HTN methods for every task.

Dr. Christopher Miller has been invited by representatives of the Department of Defense of Australia to provide the keynote presentation of the Defense Sciences Institute workshop on Autonomy and the Organization of Tasks at the University of Melbourne to be held on the topic of Automation and the Organization of Work on May 28 and May 29, 2013. In addition, Dr.

Former SIFT summer intern Daniel Geschwender has won a $7,500 Barry M. Goldwater scholarship for his continued pursuit of computer science education and research. This highly-competitive scholarship provides "a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers." Daniel is one of 271 recipients nationwide, with just 14 going to computer science students.

SIFT has won a Phase 2 contract for SAGA. The SAGA project applies technology to provide therapeutic benefit to veterans suffering with PTSD. The technology creates an online game environment that combines therapy with creating graphic novelization (comics) of the PTSD patient's story. More information is available on the SAGA page.

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