2023 2023: Jiawei Yuan receives $299K NSF grant

2023 2023: Jiawei Yuan receives $299K NSF grant
Jiawei Yuan receives $299K NSF grant

Associate professor of computer and information science receives grant for research on artificial intelligence and unmanned aerial vehicles

graphic depicting artificial intelligence

Dr. Jiawei Yuan, associate professor of computer and information science at UMass Dartmouth’s College of Engineering, is the recipient of a $299,999 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the project, “Collaborative Research: CISE-MSI: DP: OAC: Integrated and Extensible Platform for Rethinking the Security of AI-Assisted UAV Paradigm.” This grant represents UMass Dartmouth's portion of a three-year collaborative project with California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) totaling $599,999. 

With the explosive development of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in recent years, the application of AI in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), commonly referred to as drones, has drawn increased attention from both academia and industry. Researchers use AI techniques to enhance the UAV autopilot systems and various UAV applications in terms of intelligence, effectiveness, and efficiency. Although these existing research efforts have shown promising benefits of integrating AI and UAVs, limited attention has been given to the corresponding security and safety concerns raised by the integration. 

Dr. Yuan's project seeks to develop a new research platform that enables researchers to uncover potential security vulnerabilities in the AI-assisted UAV paradigm and design countermeasures to address them. In addition, outcomes from this project will be leveraged to produce new materials to educate the next generation of engineers and researchers and promote multidisciplinary research collaborations. 

Dr. Yuan will collaborate on this project with Dr. Yanyan Li, assistant professor of computer science and information systems at CSUSM. As CSUSM is a minority-serving institution, the project will provide research and educational experience to a large number of students who are underrepresented in the field of computer science.