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Welcome to ISR!

Systems-oriented research is a critical component of science and engineering approaches that address complex societal challenges in our world. Since 1985, the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland has been contributing to all aspects of systems science and engineering, always at the cutting edge of approaches that solve real-life, complex problems.

More than a quarter century ago, the National Science Foundation (NSF) recognized the growing importance of systems research by founding one of its first six Engineering Research Centers at the University of Maryland. Known first as the “Systems Research Center,” ISR became a permanent institute on campus in 1992 and was the first ERC to graduate from NSF’s program in 1996. We are proud that ISR is the only original ERC still in existence today, and attribute our robust health to our vision, leadership and faculty.

The driving motivation behind ISR’s founding was to advance the efficient design and control of complex large-scale, spatially distributed engineering systems. From its earliest days, ISR research focused on integrating analytical and computational techniques of control and communication engineering with advances in computer hardware and software, using refined system-level design tools. ISR faculty have played a prominent role in advancing the state of engineered systems, especially in the areas of communications and signal processing, manufacturing, intelligent servosystems and chemical processing.

ISR’s achievements have been made possible by our long history of interdisciplinary research and education within the University of Maryland, conducted by joint-appointment and affiliate faculty from not only the A. James Clark School of Engineering, but also the Robert H. Smith School of Business; the College of Computer, Mathematics and Natural Sciences; and the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. In addition, our research always has been pursued in collaboration with industry and government.

One of the keys to our success is that we have never been afraid to evolve as new societal and technological challenges present themselves. Just as systems are ever evolving, our faculty are always challenging themselves to address the next frontiers in systems research. Today, in addition to our historical research emphases, ISR is also widely recognized for its strengths in neuroscience and biology-based technologies, micro and nano devices and systems, and robotics—and we are always looking for the next opportunities in systems research.

I hope you will explore our website, especially our extensive research section, our rich faculty profiles and the partnership opportunities we have available for those in industry. If you are a student looking to further your studies in systems engineering, I encourage you to explore our M.S. in Systems Engineering degree. Enjoy your time here at ISR and the University of Maryland!

--Reza Ghodssi, Director