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The DARPA Urban Challenge and the Future of Robot Cars


Wyatt Newman, Ph.D.- Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Case Western Reserve University

Friday December 7, 2007
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Crawford Hall - Room 9
Inamori Center
Case Western Reserve University

Over the past more than a year, a team of Case School of Engineering students worked with faculty to meet a daunting challenge: constructing a robotic vehicle “capable of autonomous operation through an urban environment interacting with local traffic.” They competed with teams from around the country in a contest sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which sought a vehicle that could deliver military supplies without exposing troops to danger in transport, yet still “obey California traffic laws while performing maneuvers such as merging into moving traffic, navigating traffic circles, and avoiding moving obstacles.” Please join us for the final Friday Lunch of 2007, as Professor Newman explains the challenge and Team Case’s success in meeting it.

The Friday Lunch is a brown-bag event open to all. Cookies and some beverages are provided

The remainder of this e-mail reports what we know about the schedule for the rest of the semester. We will be sending out announcements each week. If you would prefer not to receive the announcements, please inform Dr. Andrew Lucker, Associate Director of the Center for Policy Studies, by e-mail (

About Our Guest

Wyatt Newman's research is in the areas of mechatronics, robotics and computational intelligence, in which he has 9 patents and over 100 technical publications. He received the S.B. degree from Harvard College in Engineering Science, the S.M. degree in Mechanical Engineering from M.I.T. in thermal and fluid sciences, the M.S.E.E. degree from Columbia University in control theory and network theory, and the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from M.I.T. in design and control. Dr. Newman spent 8 years in industrial research at Philips Laboratories, Briarcliff Manor, NY, engaged in electromechanical design and control. He joined Case in 1988, and in 1992 he was named an NSF Young Investigator in robotics. Wyatt also holds an adjunct appointment at the Cleveland Clinic.

Additional professional appointments and experience include: visiting scientist at Philips Natuurkundig Laboratorium, Eindhoven, The Netherlands; visiting faculty at Sandia National Laboratories, Intelligent Systems and Robotics Center, Albuquerque, NM; NASA summer faculty fellow at NASA Glenn Research Center; and visiting fellow at Princeton University.

Friday Lunch and Other Public Affairs Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

The Friday Lunch will resume for the Spring semester on January 18, 2008 with Robert Strassfeld, Professor of Law, leading a discussion on "How to End a War. "

January 25: TBA

February 1: TBA

February 8: Bo Carlsson, Frank Tracy Carlton Professor of Economics at Case Western Reserve University, will discuss, "Can Cleveland Be a High Tech Leader?"

February 15: Paul Gerhart, Professor of Marketing and Policy Studies at Case Western Reserve University, will talk about, "Labor Agreements in the Auto Industry--and Elsewhere."

February 22: TBA

February 29: Robin Dubin, Associate Proferssor of Economics at Case Western Reserve University, will discuss, "The Real Estate Meltdown."

The Friday Lunch discussions are held on the lower (ground) level of
Crawford Hall.  Visitors with mobility issues may find it easiest to take advantage of special arrangements we have made.  On most Fridays, a few parking spaces in the V.I.P. lot in between Crawford Hall and Amasa Stone Chapel are held for participants in the lunch discussion. 

Visitors then can avoid walking up the hill to the first floor of Crawford by entering the building on the ground level, through the garage area under the building.  The further door on the left in that garage will be left unlocked during the period before the Friday lunch.  On occasion, parking will be unavailable because of other university events.

For more information about these and other Center for Policy Studies programs, please see

December 3, 2007

A weekly newsletter published by the Center for Policy Studies, Case Western Reserve University. If you would like to not receive this weekly e-mail or you would like to submit items for inclusion please send a notice to:

Upcoming Events

Eugenics 2007: Is the Customer Always Right?


Eric Juengst, PhD
Professor of Bioethics

Max Mehlman, J.D.
Professor of Law

Georgia Wiesner, PhD
Associate Professor of Genetics and Medicine


Gregory L. Eastwood, MD
Director, Inamori Center

Wednesday December 5, 2007
5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Ford Auditorium - Allen Memorial Medical Library
Case Western Reserve University

Doesn’t everyone want a perfect child? Or is perfection, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder? Who can argue with eliminating or reducing the risk for cancer, diabetes, hypertension, Huntington’s Disease, and Alzheimer’s disease by genetic manipulation? As James Watson, a 1962 Nobel laureate, said, “If we could make better human beings by knowing how to add genes, why shouldn’t we do it?”

All students, staff, and faculty of Case Western Reserve University and the general public are invited to a forum that will address these and related questions and promises to be provocative. The audience will have ample opportunity to pose questions and add comments.

The Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence at Case Western Reserve University, in conjunction with the Center for Genetic Research Ethics and Law, presents “Eugenics 2007: Is the Customer Always Right?”

This will be a discussion of the ethical issues arising from genetic manipulation and the options available as a result of our ability to identify and manipulate specific genes before or anytime after birth, against the background of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage exhibit “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race.”* Attendees are encouraged to visit “The Scourge of Nazi Medicine: the Pernkopf Anatomy Atlas and Eugenics in the Museum Context” at the Dittrick Medical History Center on the second floor of the Allen Library before or after the panel presentation.

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About the Friday Lunch Newsletter

Submissions for the Friday Lunch Newsletter may be e-mailed to All submissions must be received at least a week prior to inclusion in the weekly e-mail and will be reviewed for timeliness and relevance to the Center for Policy Studies audience.


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