Invited Talks


Frank Chongwoo Park

Seoul National University

Time: Wednesday July 12, 11 AM

Title: Manifolds, Geometry, and Robotics

Abstract: Ideas and methods from differential geometry and Lie groups have played a crucial role in establishing the scientific foundations of robotics, and more than ever, influence the way we think about and formulate the latest problems in robotics. In this talk I will trace some of this history, and also highlight some recent developments in this geometric line of inquiry. The focus for the most part will be on robot mechanics, planning, and control, but some results from vision and image analysis, and human modeling, will be presented. I will also make the case that many mainstream problems in robotics, particularly those that at some stage involve nonlinear dimension reduction techniques or some other facet of machine learning, can be framed as the geometric problem of mapping one curved space into another, so as to minimize some notion of distortion. A Riemannian geometric framework will be developed for this distortion minimization problem, and its generality illustrated via examples from robot design to manifold learning.

Biography: Frank Park received his B.S. in EECS from MIT in 1985, and Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Harvard University in 1991. He joined the mechanical and aerospace engineering faculty at the University of California, Irvine in 1991, and since 1995 he has been professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Seoul National University, where he is currently serving as department chair since June 2017. His research interests are in robot mechanics, planning and control, vision and image processing, machine learning, and related areas of applied mathematics. He has been an IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Distinguished Lecturer, and received best paper awards for his work on visual tracking and parallel robot design. He has served on the editorial boards of the Springer Handbook of Robotics, Springer Advanced Tracts in Robotics (STAR), Robotica, and the ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics. He has held adjunct faculty positions at the NYU Courant Institute and the Interactive Computing Department at Georgia Tech, and is currently adjunct professor at the Robotics Institute at HKUST. He is a fellow of the IEEE, current editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics, developer of the EDX course Robot Mechanics and Control I, II, and co-author (with Kevin Lynch) of Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning and Control (2017 Cambridge University Press).