Research Seminars

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 L E C T U R E  S E R I E

The 2021 Schedule is forthcoming. See the 2018-2020 schedules for an exemplar. 

The one-credit course is designed to give students a broad overview of the projects going on at Vanderbilt as well as cross-training that will prepare them both for the internships and for their future careers. Each class will consist of two components: an introduction to a Vanderbilt research project presented by the project PI along with either a hands-on demonstration of the project or a discussion of a reading assignment. Generally, there are one or two short articles required for reading each week.

Materials from the previous seminars can be found here: 20202019 | 2018


Monday, Jan 6: No meeting.

Monday, Jan 13 - First Meeting
Introduction to the PIRE program (Prof. Janos Sztipanovits). 10 min. Discussion of internships in Germany and at Vanderbilt. Decision timeline and process.  Introduction to societal dimensions of emerging technologies (Prof. David Hess). 5 minutes.  Brief presentation by one of the interns from 2019. 5 minutes. Questions and answers.

Monday, Jan 20: No meeting.
Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday.

Monday, Jan 27: EU and US Privacy Regulations for the Smart Grid and Connected Vehicles.
EU and US Privacy Regulations for the Smart Grid and Connected Vehicles. Part 1. Summary of research, presentation by Dasom Lee, PhD candidate, sociology.  Reading: M. Sudibjo, “Ethics of Smart Meters and Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: Privacy Regulations in the U.S. and the European Union.” Part 2: Discussion of privacy challenges with emerging technologies. Assignment 1 due before class (Brightspace): 200 word summary of the paper and the major privacy issues discussed.

Monday, Feb. 3: Privacy by Design: How to Embed Privacy Goals in Software Design.  
Part 1. Summary of research: presentation on the Policy Forge project by Prof. Janos Sztipanovits with possible guest appearance from VUMC faculty. Part 2. Discussion of reading: Reading by H. Nissenbaum (2018). Respecting context to protect privacy: why meaning matters. Science and Engineering Ethics 24: 831-852. Turn in notes on the reading before class.  Assignment 2 due before class: 200-word summary of the reading.

Monday, Feb 10: Safety, Consumer Organizations, and Future Vehicles.
Part 1: Discussion of reading. Reading: Hess, David J. “Incumbent-led Transitions and Civil Society: Autonomous Vehicle Policy and Consumer Organizations in the United States.” Technological Forecasting and Social Change. In Press.
Assignment 3:  Assignment 3 due before class:
Part 1: Review of the article, the main points, etc., in about 200 words.
Part 2: Find an additional article or document by one of the civil society organizations mentioned that discusses safety and autonomous/automated vehicles, and write a review of the article of about one paragraph.

Monday, Feb 17: Driver Control, Traffic Control, and Traffic Stability. Summary of research: presentation by Prof. Dan Work.  Please review the web site “Work Research Group” at  Assignment 4 due: View multiple pages and documents (at least 12) and write up a summary of what you have learned.

Monday, Feb 24: Autonomy and Safe Artificial Intelligence: Submarine Vehicles.
Part 1. Presentation by Professor Gabor Karsai.
Part 2. Discussion of reading: Brutzman, D., Davis, D., Lucas Jr, G. and McGhee, R., 2013. Run-time ethics checking for autonomous unmanned vehicles: Developing a practical approach. In Proceedings of the 18th International Symposium on Unmanned Untethered Submersible Technology (UUST), Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Assignment 5: 200-word summary of the reading.

Monday, March 2: No meeting.
Spring break.

Monday, March 9: Security, Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Lights, and Dynamic Routing.
Part 1. Summary of research: presentation by Professor Xenofon Koutsoukos.
Part 2: Demonstration of the simulation project.  Reading: Koutsoukos, X., Karsai, G., Laszka, A., Neema, H., Potteiger, B., Volgyesi, P., Vorobeychik, Y. and Sztipanovits, J., 2018. SURE: A modeling and simulation integration platform for evaluation of secure and resilient cyber–physical systems. Proceedings of the IEEE, 106(1), pp.93-112. Assignment 6: 200-word review of the reading.

Monday, March 16: On-road Regulation of Autonomous Test Vehicles: A Comparative Perspective.
Presentation by Dasom Lee, Ph.D. candidate, Sociology. Reading: Dasom Lee and David Hess, “On-Road Testing of Connected and Automated Vehicles Regulations: Assessing the Potential for Global Safety Harmonization.” Transport Research Part A: Policy and Practice. Under review.  Assignment 7: 200-word review of the reading.

Monday, March 23: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Societal Issues.  Assignment 8: In this class we will have you find one article on the topic, then make a short (3 minute) summary. Do this as a set of powerpoint slides, the upload to Brightspace by 6pm Sunday night.  There will also be a short presentation on the regulation of drones by Dasom Lee. Possible readings are here:  We’ll have a sign-up sheet for you so that you don’t duplicate another student’s presentation.

Monday, March 30: Introduction to the electricity grid, the smart grid, distributed energy, and demand management, by David Hess.  
Reading: Hess and Lee, Energy Decentralization in California and New York: Value Conflicts in the Politics of Shared Solar and Community Choice. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.  Assignment 9: 200-word review of the reading.

Monday, April 6: Transactive Energy: Interdisciplinary Perspectives.  
Part 1: Overview of transactive energy and discussion of reading, by Dasom Lee.  
Part 2: Transactive energy project summary, Prof. Himanshu Neema. Discussion of reading: Lee and Hess, Do Economists Successfully Make the Market? Transactive Energy in the United States and Market Performativity. Manuscript in Progress.  Also read: Discussion of reading: Kok, K. and Widergren, S., 2016. A society of devices: Integrating intelligent distributed resources with transactive energy. IEEE Power and Energy Magazine, 14(3), pp.34-45. Assignment 10: 150-word review of each reading assignment.

Monday, April 13: Presentations by students.  Upload slides to the course site in powerpoint so that they are available for presentation. This is a five-minute presentation and a short review of one article on a social or human factors issue as it relates to transactive energy, connected and autonomous vehicles, or unmanned aerial vehicles. You may want to look at one of the policy documents or other articles on the web site. Discuss what the social or human factor issue is, what software design challenges are faced, and what some possible solutions are. Assignment 9: upload the powerpoint by 6pm Sunday night.  You must complete this assignment to pass the class.

Monday, April 20: Presentations continued.

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Please submit reading notes via Brightspace.