FORT WAYNE - A $360,000 grant will support an IPFW researcher's work on robot flexibility and reasoning. Assistant Professor of Computer Science John Licato is among the recipients of a 2016 U.S. Air Force Young Investigator Research Program Award.

The three years of funding will support research at Analogical Constructivism and Reasoning Lab, which Licato runs. "This project will be studying active formalization; that is, how can we create robots that can reason beyond the formalizations they are initially given. Artificially intelligent systems are often given a set of rules and symbols to reason over. But human beings seem to have an ability to think about those symbols, understand the meaning behind those symbols, and create new ones, often going beyond the rules and symbols they were given," he said. Licato is attempting to address difference between human and artificial thinking by developing techniques such as analogico-deductive reasoning and what the school describes as "a computational implementation of Rudolf Carnap's explication."

Department of Computer Science Chair Beomjin Kim says "this grant not only raises the level of our engineering program, it also provides a great opportunity for the students to become involved in cutting-edge research with outstanding faculty,"

Licato is one of 56 scientists that will receive a share of nearly $21 million through the Air Force Office of Scientific Research-led program.