DVIDS – News – NPS faculty recognized for interdisciplinary work with annual Hamming Award


The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) has recognized two outstanding faculty members for their interdisciplinary scholarships with the presentation of the 2022 Richard W. Hamming Faculty Award for Interdisciplinary Achievement.

Dr. Bonnie Johnson, Senior Lecturer in the NPS Department of Systems Engineering, and Dr. Marko Orescanin, Assistant Professor in the NPS Department of Computer Science, were selected for their innovative achievements that support and enhance the interdisciplinary activities of the NPS .

Johnson, who has over 25 years of leadership and experience in naval engineering research and development, has focused on two areas of research – automation and artificial intelligence (AI) for defense applications , and Directed Energy (DE) Warfare Studies. These broad topics involve interdisciplinary research for which she has collaborated with various organizations in several service branches, as well as industry partners. Within the NPS, Johnson leads projects involving faculty from the departments of systems engineering, information science, and physics, as well as the Institute for Modeling, Virtual Environments, and Simulation (MOVES).

“When I learned I had been shortlisted for the award, I was thrilled,” Johnson said. “I appreciate the exceptional mentorship and the many opportunities I have received. I am fortunate to be surrounded by so many inspiring leaders, researchers and thinkers.

Johnson has advised over 240 students who have completed their master’s research degrees, and she is currently advising 40 students working on their postgraduate research who will be graduating in 2022 or 2023. She and her students have demonstrated the use of the automation and AI for tactical combat management aids for air and missile defense in the fleet. As part of her DE research, she worked closely with MOVES faculty and the Physics and Meteorology departments to develop an onboard laser weapon modeling and simulation capability to support student research on onboard laser power requirements, maritime atmospheric effects on lasers, battle damage assessment methods, and integration designs for laser placement on ships and for coordination with existing kinetic weapons on ships .

Johnson has developed coursework on directed energy and is the course coordinator for a set of four jointly taught DE courses in Systems Engineering and Physics. She has also developed AI coursework and supports an interdisciplinary NPS course for DOD personnel at the Joint AI Center (JAIC) taught by computer science and systems engineering. She partnered with professors from the NPS Energy Academic Group to conduct a large study aimed at achieving net zero naval emissions by 2050 and to investigate the use of AI to detect cyberattacks from surveillance data. Energy.

“There are two things that really stand out as the ‘best’ part of my job,” Johnson noted. “First of all, the incredibly brilliant people I work with – our incredible teachers and our ‘rock star’ students. Also, having the freedom to pursue research of interest – the Navy is plagued with fascinating and “difficult” issues and I am always able to find a way to study the topics that interest me.

Orescanin leads an interdisciplinary team of faculty and students conducting cutting-edge research at the intersection of computer science, meteorology, oceanography, operations research, physics, systems engineering and of submarine warfare. This team advances the Navy’s ability to obtain accurate weather forecasts – an essential capability for warfare and for addressing other national security interests such as climate change. Since his arrival at the NPS in 2019, Orescanin has accompanied or co-supervised 23 master’s students and two doctoral students.

“I was very humbled and honored,” Orsecanin said. “Although I haven’t been at the NPS for very long, I am deeply committed to its mission and very excited to expand my interdisciplinary research capabilities while educating and mentoring students.”

Orescanin’s work on the quantification of uncertainty is the most promising path to integrating new artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) synthetic products into the operations of the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC). ). He partnered with Assistant Professor Scott Powell of the Department of Meteorology to form an ongoing collaboration with the Division of Marine Meteorology at the Naval Research Laboratory in Monterey and the Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies at the University of Maryland to test new synthetics with the Navy’s Environmental Prediction. system (NAVDAS).

Orescanin also led the establishment of an interdisciplinary research program on the application of AI/ML to underwater warfare in cooperation with the NPS’ Undersea Warfare Academic Group, Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division, Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific and the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment. . The AI/ML technology developed through this research is being transitioned into operational use as part of the Future Naval Capabilities program.

“Although I have only been at the NPS for two and a half years, I am deeply impressed by both the academic strengths of the faculty, as well as the operational experience and technical expertise of the student combatant,” said noted Orescanin. “It allows for a very productive interdisciplinary approach right from the start, but with my personal experience in various scientific fields and my business experience, we have been very successful. This is particularly highlighted by taking examples from the classroom and researching the operational environment.

The award, named after NPS Professor Emeritus Dr. Richard W. Hamming, annually highlights faculty members who demonstrate a commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship and outstanding teaching skills. Hamming’s dedication to teaching and research is well known, particularly in the fields of study of mathematics, computer science, and telecommunications. Hamming taught at the NPS as an adjunct professor from 1976 to 1997.

Date taken: 04.07.2022
Date posted: 04.07.2022 15:39
Story ID: 418063

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