Alum Naomi Leonard named as MacArthur FellowISR alum Naomi Leonard, who has been making waves in underwater robotics research, has been named one of 23 MacArthur Fellows for 2004. The award, sponsored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, is a $500,000, "no-strings-attached" grant that underscores the importance of the creative individual in society. Recipients are selected for their originality, creativity, and the potential to do more in the future. The award is sometimes referred to in the media as "the genius grant."
Grants are given to people from all walks of life. Leonard is described on the MacArthur web site as a "marine roboticist building multiple, miniature, autonomous underwater vehicles that mimic the behavior of schooling fish."
Leonard is a professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University. She is a 1994 ISR-affiliated Electrical Engineering Ph.D. Her advisor was Professor P.S. Krishnaprasad (ECE/ISR). She also wrote a book with ISR-affiliated Professor William Levine (ECE) in 1992 as a student, Using MATLAB to Analyze and Design Control Systems. This fall Leonard hired recent ISR grad Fumin Zhang as a postdoc.
Published September 1, 2004