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Advance Program »

John Surdu - Defense Advance Research Project Agency


I will describe some recent VR projects supported under my programs at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

One example is Deep Green, which will build a battle command decision support system that interleaves anticipatory planning with adaptive execution. This system will allow the commander to think ahead, identify when a plan is going awry, and help develop alternatives “ahead of real time.”

The commander (and his support staff) is involved in essentially two major asynchronous functions: generating options and making decisions. Deep Green will aid in battle command and battlefield visualization.

The goal of this program is to create a commander-driven system to assist the commander and his support staff in generating options or Courses of Action. In addition, I will describe some new programs related to virtual reality and augmented reality that will start in 2008.

About the Speaker

photo: john surdu


Colonel Buck Surdu currently serves as a Project Manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the Information Processing Technology Office (IPTO). Prior to his current assignment he served for three years as the Army product manager for the One Semi-Automated Forces simulation system.

The OneSAF program won numerous DoD and industry awards and leveraged cutting edge software development methodologies. Prior to assuming the OneSAF duties, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the United States Military Academy, West Point, and Senior Research Scientist in the Information Technology and Operations Center.

Upon his graduation from the United States Military Academy, Colonel Surdu was commissioned a second lieutenant of infantry, serving in a variety of leadership positions in the 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 325th Infantry at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Vicenza, Italy.

He served as a platoon trainer in the 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry and commanded Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 507th Infantry at Ft. Benning, Georgia. He also served at the Brigade Assistant Operations Officer in the 1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, in the Republic of Korea.

He served as a research scientist and team leader at the Army Research Laboratory, focusing on unique uses for virtual reality technologies for command and control applications. As a senior research scientist at the Information Technology and Operations Center he directed several applied research efforts, including projects for PM Airborne Electronic Combat, PM Effects (formerly PM AFATDS), PM Soldier, and the Topographic Engineering Center.

In addition to a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the United States Military Academy, Colonel Surdu has earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Columbus State University, a Master of Science degree in computer science from Florida State University (focusing on automated target recognition of 2nd generation infra red images), and Doctoral degree in computer science from Texas A&M University (focusing on simulation and artificial intelligence).

His military schooling includes the Infantry Officer’s Advanced Course, Command and General Staff College, and both the Program Managers Course and the Program Manager’s Skills Course at the Defense Acquisition University.

His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster), Army Commendation Medal (with four oak leaf clusters), Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, and Ranger Tab.