Dr. Bryan Donyanavard researches how self-aware software programs can more efficiently adapt to uncertain and unpredictable situations. He says he usually starts all his talks with talking about Skynet from the Terminator movies, and how that is exactly NOT what he’s working on.
“You don’t need a terminator to provide climate control,” he said. Instead, systems just need an appropriate level of awareness of the environment and the purpose they’re serving. Other real-life examples include drones or self-driving cars losing their network connection and needing to respond quickly.
Dr. Donyanavrd has had multiple positions in industry, at places like Google and Ericsson, but loves the freedom of thought and research direction that academia affords.
His favorite part of the Computer Science department so far is how communal, inclusive and tight-knit everyone is. “Everyone helps each other out, everyone’s very willing,” he said. “Even being remote, I can kind of feel like we’re in it together.”
He is currently working with undergraduate students on a capstone project funded by Northrup-Grumman and is recruiting additional undergraduate and graduate student research assistants.
When he’s not doing research, Dr. Donyanavard loves skateboarding and watching baseball.