A University of Central Florida computer science professor has been appointed to the Information Science and Technology study group for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Gita Sukthankar, who specializes in robotics and giving computer-based agents human-like levels of decision making, joins a group of 30 of the brightest scientists and engineers in the nation on the advisory panel. The group meets three times a year to discuss new research developments in computer science and to advise DARPA on future information technology funding priorities.

Sukthankar said that the group helps alert DARPA to new breakthroughs by promoting interdisciplinary conversations between researchers working in different areas of information science. She is the first UCF professor to serve in this role.

Sukthankar is a recipient of both the National Science Foundation CAREER award and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator award and in 2015 received UCF’s Reach for the Stars award which included a $10,000 annual research grant for three years.  She has published dozens of articles on cutting-edge topics such as crowdsourcing sensor data, agent-based social simulations, and models for human-robot interaction.