Faculty and Students Participate in Technical Exchange Meeting at U.S. Army DEVCOM DAC
AI analysts from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Analysis Center, or DAC, collaborated with Maneuver Center of Excellence, Armor School, students, and professors from the Analytic Framework for AI. Four project teams from across the country came together for the first time at the U.S. Army Armor and Cavalry collection in Fort Moore, Georgia for a Technical Exchange Meeting. The tour of the collection was educational and inspirational, enabling a comprehensive appreciation of the physical environment inside a ground combat vehicle.
The collaboration is mutually beneficial for the Army and the universities. These projects assist the Army by increasing capabilities to assess AI in the future while giving students and professors the ability to learn directly from soldiers. Students as well as professors were able to learn from soldiers about what it is like to operate and aim a ground combat vehicle.
Northeastern University faculty and students led the discussion and exploration. Faculty include Rifat Sipahi, professor and associate chair for research affairs, mechanical and industrial engineering; Gene Tunik, professor and associate dean for research and innovation, Bouvé College of Health Sciences and director of AI+Health at the Institute for Experiential AI; and Mathew Yarossi, assistant professor physical therapy, movement, and rehabilitation sciences, jointly appointed in electrical and computer engineering. Students include Paola Kefallinos, MS in mechanical engineering; Kyle Lockwood, PhD in electrical and computer engineering; Tony Smoragiewicz, MS in Robotics; Garrit Strenge, BS computer engineering and computer science; and Matthew Tortolani, MS in mechanical engineering.
Learning directly from the soldiers helps participants understand at a much greater level the tasks of including AI. Strenge and Lockwood worked one on one with several Army Master Gunners to hear direct feedback on their Unity simulation. Sipahi’s team is investigating the inclusion and experimentation of off board sensors, wind, and gravity differences across the earth to probability of hit calculations. Tunik’s / Yarossi’s team is quantifying through precise human subject research the baseline foundational values and developing a computational model for accurate placement of a reticle on a target under varying conditions. Northeastern collaborated with University of Georgia, University of Pittsburgh, and University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute to create working relationships, enabling synergistic goals for the project.
DAC’s Jennifer Forsythe, master analyst, identified the need, planned, and executed the collaborative two-day event. From her experience working with soldiers, she knew there is no greater way to learn about the complexities of a ground combat vehicle than directly from Master Gunners. In addition, the U.S. Army Armor and Cavalry Collection at Fort Moore is a truly one-of-a-kind facility allowing unclassified tours of ground combat vehicles. No other facility in the U.S. brings the breadth, depth, and proximity to expertise than the collection. Forsythe creatively led brainstorming and team building on May 11 orchestrating the whole multi-university team to work together. DAC’s Thomas Stadterman led a strategic guidance team providing key links to other AI elements within the Army as well as overall counsel. Successfully, the total team committed to meeting virtually quarterly and meeting with the Master Gunners twice a year. The team now has a working relationship as well as a great soldier touchpoint to reflect on for the rest of year 2 and through years 3-5 to build better AI assessment tools for DAC.