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LISC ::: Laboratory for Intelligent Systems and Controls at Duke University
Professor Silvia Ferrari Members Projects Publications News Openings
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Greg Foderaro

Postdoctoral Associate


Wenjie Lu

Ph.D. Student


Weston Ross

Ph.D. Student


Ashleigh Swingler

Ph.D. Student


Hongchuan Wei

Ph.D. Student


Xu Zhang

Ph.D. Student


Pingping Zhu

Postdoctoral Associate


  Member Biographies  
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A list of selected publications is available here.

Professor Silvia Ferrari


Dept. of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dept. of Computer Science

Duke Institute of Brain Sciences (DIBS)

Laboratory for Intelligent Systems and Controls (LISC)

IGERT on Wireless Intelligent Sensor Networks (WISeNet)

Contact information
Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science | Pratt School of Engineering | Duke University
Box 90300 Hudson Hall • Durham, NC 27708-0300
Phone: (919) 660-5035 • Fax: (919) 660-8963


Professor Ferrari's research aims at providing intelligent control systems with a higher degree of mathematical structure to guide their application and improve reliability. Decision-making processes are automated based on concepts drawn from control theory and the life sciences. Recent efforts have focused on optimal control problems in computational geometry and multiscale dynamical systems aimed at improving the effectiveness of mobile sensor networks, such as, acoustic and demining sensors installed on underwater vehicles and ground robots.  New methods for neural network training are also being developed to retain long-term procedural memories, solving partial differential equations online, and training in-vitro and in-silico spiking neural networks to solve complex sensorimotor learning problems.


Principal research efforts

  • Approximate dynamic programming
  • Learning in neural and Bayesian networks
  • Sensor path planning
  • Integrated surveillance systems
  • Reconfigurable control of aircraft
  • Intelligent systems for criminal profiling


  • Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
    Ph.D., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, November 2002
    M.A., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, November 1999
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL
    B.S., Aerospace Engineering, summa cum laude, May 1997

Recent Honors and Awards

  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2006
  • International Crime Analysis Association Research Award, 2005
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2005
  • Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, 2004

Click here to access Prof. Ferrari's publications.


Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University 2003-2014. For questions, please contact:
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LISC ::: Laboratory for Intelligent Systems and Controls at Duke University