Program in Robotics and Intelligent Systems



  • Szymon M. Rusinkiewicz

Associate Director

  • Naomi E. Leonard

Executive Committee

  • Amir Ali Ahmadi, Oper Res and Financial Eng
  • Daniel J. Cohen, Mechanical & Aerospace Eng
  • Niraj K. Jha, Electrical & Comp Engineering
  • Anirudha Majumdar, Mechanical & Aerospace Eng
  • Peter J. Ramadge, Electrical & Comp Engineering
  • Olga Russakovsky, Computer Science
For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.

Program Information

The Program in Robotics and Intelligent Systems is designed for undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing careers or graduate education in three general areas:

  1. The analysis, design, and development of systems that automate manufacturing, transportation, health care, environmental stewardship, scientific research, and other activities;
  2. The creation of systems for learning, adaptation, decision-making, identification, estimation, and control using concepts drawn from cognitive and biological sciences; and
  3. The understanding of human intelligence from the perspective of neuroscience and computation.

New industries and organizations depend increasingly on the interplay between engineering, computing, and the life sciences. Innovations and inventions require multidisciplinary approaches and entrepreneurship, as well as grounding in theory and practice, in topics that may not be covered by a single department. The program offers an integrated set of core and elective courses, introducing students to fundamental concepts, providing depth in specific fields of interest, and setting the stage for further achievement. Students are encouraged to expand their experience through summer internships with companies, government agencies, and university laboratories.

Admission to the Program

The program is open to juniors and seniors who have a satisfactory background in mathematics, science, and computing. Students should have successfully completed:

  1. Mathematics through MAT 202 or 204.
  2. The A.B. science and engineering general education requirement or the B.S.E. first-year science requirement.
  3. COS 126, ECE 115, or an equivalent computing course.

Students planning to earn the program certificate should enroll by filling out the form at the program's website. A new form listing updated progress toward the certificate must be filled out at the beginning of each year, and seniors must complete the form no later than the seventh week of their final year.

Program of Study

Students in this program must satisfy both program and departmental requirements. The detailed program for each student is worked out by the student and the student's director of undergraduate studies. The program requirements are as follows:

1.  All students must take six courses, including three core courses and three electives. To qualify for the certificate, a minimum grade average of B- in the six program courses is required. Program courses may not be taken on a Pass/D/Fail basis, unless that is the only grading alternative for the course. However, all courses taken on a Pass/D/Fail basis during Spring 2020, Fall 2020, or Spring 2021 will be accepted for the program. Courses may simultaneously fulfill both certificate program requirements and regular departmental requirements.

Core Courses. One from each group:

Control Systems. One Course:

  • ECE 301 Designing Real Systems
  • MAE 345/COS 346/ECE 345 Introduction to Robotics
  • ECE 346/COS 347/MAE 346 Intelligent Robotic Systems
  • MAE 433 Automatic Control Systems
  • MAE 434 Modern Control

Laboratory. One Course:

  • ECE 206/COS 306 Contemporary Logic Design
  • ECE 302 Robotic and Autonomous Systems Lab
  • MAE 224 Integrated Engineering Science Laboratory
  • PHY 210 Experimental Physics Seminar
  • CEE 374/STC 374  Autonomous Fabrication and Robotics

Cognition, Language, and Decision-Making. One Course:

  • MUS 248 / PSY 248 Music Cognition
  • NEU 201 / PSY 258 Fundamentals of Neuroscience
  • NEU 202 / PSY 259 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience
  • NEU 330 / PSY 330 Computational Modeling of Psychological Function
  • NEU 422 / PSY 422 Dynamics in Cognition
  • PSY 255 / CGS 255 Cognitive Psychology
  • PSY 316 / NEU 316 The Cognitive Neuroscience of Selective Attention
  • PSY 337 / NEU 337 Neuroscience of Social Cognition and Emotion
  • PSY 345 / NEU 325 Sensation and Perception
  • PSY 454 / COS 454 Probabilistic Models of Cognition
  • SPI 340 / PSY 321 The Psychology of Decision Making and Judgment

Electives. Three Courses:

  • A maximum of two courses from the same department may be used to satisfy the requirement.
  • Courses listed above may be counted as electives if they are not being used to satisfy a core program requirement.  An up-to-date list of additional approved electives may be found on the program's website.

2. A one-term senior independent work project or two-term senior thesis whose topic is relevant to robotics and intelligent systems must be completed and presented to the program committee. Junior independent work projects do not fulfill the certificate requirement. A minimum grade of B- for the project or thesis is required to qualify for the certificate.

Certificate of Proficiency

Students who fulfill all program requirements will receive a certificate of proficiency in robotics and intelligent systems upon graduation.