Meet the Scientists: Dr. Stuart Rubin

Meet the Scientists is an Armed with Science segment highlighting the men and women working in the government realms of science, technology, and research and development: the greatest minds working on the greatest developments of our time. If you know someone who should be featured, email us.

By Yolanda R. Arrington
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific scientist Stuart Rubin. Navy photo by Alan Antczak

WHO: Stuart Rubin, Ph.D., is a scientist at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific who significantly advanced the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning. Rubin is a Fellow of three scientific societies, including the National Academy of Inventors and Society for Information Reuse and Integration, and most recently, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Rubin has 35 patents and has authored or co-authored more than 300 professional articles, six books and 10 book chapters. Rubin, who holds master’s degrees in both systems engineering and computer science, and holds a doctorate in computer science, developed, published, and is applying his mathematical “theory of randomization” to computer science, which laid the foundation for computational creativity and machine learning — as noted by Rutgers University. Two decades ago he founded the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Information Reuse and Integration Conference and he chairs the IEEE technical committee on Knowledge Acquisition in Intelligent Systems.

His current research is focused on providing computers with commonsense reasoning.

“Machines can readily accomplish tasks we think difficult; but, they cannot yet accomplish among the simplest of tasks for humans. That’s where the game-changer lies.” His theory of randomization defines what makes this possible. It will enable the construction of machines with exponentially greater reasoning capability than deep learning, and possibly much more. The engineering benefits and attendant cost-savings make the pursuit of derived applications worthwhile,” Rubin said.

So, now that you’ve got some background on this skilled scientist. Let’s meet him!

RUBIN’S MISSION: The development of intelligent systems, which support the Joint services warfighters.

AWS: Tell us about your technology/science.
RUBIN: Common sense derives from transformation. Understanding comes from the most compact representation of knowledge. Creativity comes from the application of existing knowledge to new situations.

What do you hope your work will achieve?
The goal here is to hold limitless knowledge in limited, albeit very large, space. Theory holds that this is possible. A result of such information-theoretic black holes will be that our supercomputers will be able to find creative solutions to problems, which we do not even understand — problems faced by the military, found in healthcare, and virtually all other areas of human endeavor.

In a few words, what makes this technology so significant?
It has the potential to understand itself. No other technology can make that claim.

How could you use this science to aid the military or help with military missions?
It could remove humans from all manner of harm without sacrificing on performance — often improving performance. For example, bombers and their protective fighters need never fly humans into a Surface to Air Missile site to take it out. Another application area is in training pilots through the use of metaphor — insuring a far deeper understanding of the salient flight-school topics.

What’s the most beneficial aspect of this science?
That its capability cannot be theoretically bounded – that’s why I term it an information-theoretic black hole – out of respect for its astrophysics equation analogs.

What got you interested in this field of study?
When I asked myself what I should study, I realized that the answer would require knowledge to be properly formulated. It then followed that knowledge is required to acquire knowledge — defining self-reference and ultimately leading to the theory of randomization.

Are you working on any other projects right now?
Yes, diagnostics, prognostics, machine and human learning, generalizing the theory of randomization (which will take years), some work on viral phages and altering cancer DNA, and most-recently plasmonics and retroreflectors for amplitude modulation (e.g., AM radio) and frequency modulation (e.g., FM radio) laser modulation.

Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific scientist Stuart Rubin. Navy photo by Alan Antczak

Thinking about the future, what’s your best advice for budding scientists?

If nobody raises objections, then you are not doing innovative work. Subsequent to the completion of that work, if nobody raises objections, then they are not thinking innovatively.

Congratulations on being named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. What does this mean for your career?
In a perfect world, it would not mean a thing. But, in as much as this is not a perfect world, it may translate into a greater willingness for understanding my papers as well as a larger pool of scientists and engineers to collaborate with.

Last question –a fun question — if you could go anywhere in time and space, where would you go and why?
Locally, I would go back to the time before my friends and relatives passed away. Globally, I would go back to the Big Bang to see if my theory on a relative reality is correct. My idea is that the universe has no beginning or end because reality cannot be an absolute concept. Of course, I may not have been first to develop this theory. That honor is reserved for Eliphalet Oram Lyte, composer of the popular song, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” in 1881.

Our thanks to Stuart Rubin for contributing to this feature.

Rubin’s technical books
Rubin’s computer science articles

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