ARL graduate researcher receives prestigious INSA Achievement Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Sara Jamshidi, graduate researcher in Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) is one of six recipients of the 2017 INSA Achievement Awards. The awards, announced by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) on Jan. 17, recognize “outstanding midlevel professionals from government, industry and academia supporting the U.S. national security mission.”

Jamshidi received the Sidney D. Drell Academic Award. The recipients will be recognized in a Feb. 23 ceremony at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C.

Jamshidi, a doctoral student in mathematics at Penn State, is part of the transdisciplinary research and development team for ARL’s Autonomy, Perception and Cognition Department, helping pursue a revolutionary approach of cognitively advanced autonomous systems, capable of reasoning and making decisions in real-world applications. She brings to the team her domain expertise in abstract mathematics and category theory addressing the difficult symbol grounding problem required to make intelligent, reasoning systems in the real world. She leads diverse teams of mathematicians, cognitive psychologists, computer scientists and engineers of various disciplines.

For more information about the INSA Achievement Awards and the 2017 recipients, please visit

Last Updated January 24, 2017