Elizabeth Mamantov Selected for NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Elizabeth Mamantov Enlarge
Elizabeth Mamantov

Graduate student Elizabeth Mamantov has been awarded a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to continue her studies in computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan.

Elizabeth’s research interests are in embodied cognition, robotics, and cognitive architecture, and she is currently working with John Laird, the John L. Tishman Professor of Engineering, in the Soar Research Group. The goal of her research is to equip robots with the cognitive skills they need to handle real-world environments in an intelligent, human-like fashion, and her current focus is on using the Soar cognitive architecture to intelligently control robot motion.

According to Elizabeth, “It is fascinating that, despite years of AI research, robots are consistently confounded when confronted with the complexities of the real world. I am interested in leveraging the reasoning powers of a cognitive architecture to improve the way an embodied agent interacts with its environment.”

Elizabeth came to Michigan in Fall 2013, after earning her BA in Computer Science at Bowdoin College, where her honors thesis was “Cognitive visuo-spatial reasoning for robotic soccer agents.” While at Bowdoin, she was a member of Bowdoin’s RoboCup soccer team from fall 2010 to summer 2013 and served as code boss in the 2012-2013 competition cycle.


The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.