News Release

Nowzari studying the cycle of emergence: structure, agency & the environment

Grant and Award Announcement

George Mason University

Nowzari Studying The Cycle of Emergence: Structure, Agency & The Environment 

Cameron Nowzari, Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE),  is working to harness the power of robotic swarms in military applications.  

Via this project, he will challenge the prevailing paradigm in which specific local interactions are designed with the goal of making a particular emergent behavior appear. More specifically, he will make an argument for why the current state-of-the-art methods used worldwide for designing swarm systems are seriously flawed and propose an alternative approach and framework to properly address this. 

Nowzari will use mathematical methods and tools that will draw heavily from cybernetics, systems, and Control Theory, to bring together ideas from the social sciences, law, and modern management principles. If successful, this project will have implications far beyond swarm robotics by enabling a deeper understanding of the intimate connections between structure, agency, and the environment via a more rigorous and methodical manner than is currently used today. 

Nowzari will receive $510,000 from the Office of Naval Research for this project. Funding began in March 2022 and will end in late February 2025. 


About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia's largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 38,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. Learn more at

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