Prof. Fukunaga's research focuses on developing efficient algorithms for determining sequences of actions to be executed by autonomous systems that achieve desired goals while satisfying numerous, often conflicting, constraints. For example, he has worked on software that enable the autonomous operation of a satellite that observe volcanic activity from Earth orbit, as well as a system for cloud and dust devil detection onboard a Mars rover. He has also worked on practical, industrial systems, including a large-scale staff scheduling in call centers with thousands of employees. Techniques used to solve such problems include search algorithms for efficiently, systematically, exploring complex state spaces, as well as heuristic strategies such as evolutionary computation (optimization algorithms based on biological evolution).
Prof. Fukunaga received a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has previously been an assistant professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, a senior researcher at the Caltech/NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and a software engineer in industry.