Dr. Donald Wunsch, the Mary K. Finley Missouri Distinguished Professor of Computer Engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla, was selected as a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) on Nov. 21 for his contributions to hardware implementations, reinforcement and unsupervised learning.
Wunsch developed an optical computer that was the first hardware implementation of Adaptive Resonance, a complex but powerful, unsupervised learning algorithm. Together with students and other colleagues, he subsequently developed several advancements in subfields of reinforcement learning, collectively known as Approximate Dynamic Programming. This area is frequently applied in control, decision and optimization problems.
Wunsch worked for the Boeing Co. as a senior principal scientist for nearly a decade before entering the academic field. He served as an associate professor of electrical engineering and director of the Applied Computational Intelligence Laboratory at Texas Tech University before joining UMR in 1999.
Wunsch earned a bachelor of science degree in applied mathematics from the University of New Mexico in 1984 before obtaining a master of science degree in applied mathematics from the University of Washington in 1987. He received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Washington in 1991.