Faces of Research: Meet Anirban Mazumdar
Mar 23, 2022 — Atlanta, GA
Meet Anirban Mazumdar, assistant professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, director of the Dynamic Adaptive Robotic Technologies (DART) Lab, and faculty member in the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM).
IRIM is one of Georgia Tech's 10 interdisciplinary research institutes (IRIs) within the Georgia Tech Research enterprise.
What is your field of expertise and why did you choose it?
I work on mobile robotics and autonomous systems. Specifically, I want to make intelligent systems act more rapidly, achieve greater robustness, and adapt to new situations. I chose this field because I get to study how machines make decisions and how they physically execute them (“Mind and Hand” is the motto of my alma mater). This enables me to work on both exciting hardware and software.
What makes Georgia Tech research institutes unique?
The Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM) brings together researchers from across campus and Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). This group includes experts from engineering, computing, physical science, and social science. As a result, IRIM can help create diverse teams that perform innovative and impactful multi-disciplinary research. Two of my earliest projects were enabled by IRIM. IRIM helped me learn more about GTRI’s unique expertise and I was able to assist with a project on automated logistics. Additionally, I met a machine learning leader through an IRIM lunch and we partnered on an autonomous geothermal energy project. Therefore, IRIM played a critical role in helping me initiate my research career.
What impact is your research having on the world?
We try to partner with experts from National Laboratories, industry, and government to maximize the impact of our work. Our team has collaborated with Sandia National Laboratories to improve robot performance, enhance clean energy, and better understand hypersonic flight. Similarly, we work with Ford and the NSF to optimize human-robot teaming. Lastly, we are working with GTRI to improve how therapeutic treatments are created.
What do you like to do in your spare time when you are not working on your research or teaching?
My primary hobby used to be basketball, but age and Southern BBQ have taken their toll on my ability. I still try to shoot hoops at the CRC occasionally. I also enjoy going to air shows and museums with my wife.