Adjunct Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Mary "Missy" Cummings received her B.S. in Mathematics from the US Naval Academy in 1988, her M.S. in Space Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1994, and her Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2004.
A naval officer and military pilot from 1988-1999, she was one of the Navy's first female fighter pilots.
Cummings is currently a Professor in the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering, the Duke Institute of Brain Sciences, and is the director of the Humans and Autonomy Laboratory and Duke Robotics. Her research interests include human-unmanned vehicle interaction, human-autonomous system collaboration, human-systems engineering, public policy implications of unmanned vehicles, and the ethical and social impact of technology.
Appointments and Affiliations
- Adjunct Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Adjunct Professor of Computer Science
- Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society
- Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences
- Office Location: 131 North Building, Box 103957, Durham, NC 27708
- Office Phone: (919) 660-5306
- Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ph.D. University of Virginia, 2004
Human-unmanned vehicle interaction, human-autonomous system collaboration, human-systems engineering, public policy implications of unmanned vehicles, and the ethical and social impact of technology.
- CYBERSEC 531: The Human Element in Cybersecurity
- ECE 590: Advanced Topics in Electrical and Computer Engineering
- EGR 393: Research Projects in Engineering
- ME 591: Research Independent Study in Mechanical Engineering or Material Science
- ME 592: Research Independent Study in Mechanical Engineering or Material Science
In the News
- Duke & UNC: Rivals on the Court, Teammates in Science (Mar 5, 2021)
- Co-Lab's 3-D 'Hawk's Nest' Helps Camouflage Drone Detectors (Feb 4, 2021)
- Missy Cummings: Pratt's Autonomous Vehicle Road Warrior (Oct 27, 2020 | Forbes Magzine)
- Showing State Officials a Glimpse of North Carolina's Future in Autonomous Technologies (Oct 15, 2019 | Pratt School of Engineering)
- Drones Are Smuggling Contraband into NC Prisons. Duke Has an App to Stop It (Jun 19, 2019 | Pratt School of Engineering)
- Missy Cummings: 'I Don't Know How Professors Teach Without Fighter-Pilot Experience' (May 2, 2018 | The Atlantic)
- Technological, Regulatory Innovation Needed to Ensure Safety in Autonomous Vehicle Research (Apr 9, 2018)
- Deterring Drones from Ballparks and Botanical Gardens (Oct 13, 2017 | Pratt School of Engineering)
- The Workplace of the Future (Aug 30, 2017)
- Drones Take Research to New Heights (Mar 15, 2017 | Duke Magazine)
- Missy Cummings: We just need a new DMV for driverless cars (Sep 21, 2016 | The Atlantic)
- Missy Cummings comments: Facebook's Aquila drone completes first test flight (Jul 25, 2016 | USA Today)
- Plans for self-driving cars have pitfall: The human brain (Jul 20, 2016 | New York Times/AP)
- Missy Cummings: The quest for the next human-computer interface (Jul 13, 2016 | The Atlantic)
- Mary “Missy” Cummings comments: Deadly force by robot may be first for law enforcement (Jul 11, 2016 | The Boston Herald)
- Mary “Missy” Cummings comments: Automakers worry Tesla autopilot crash could have chilling effect on driverless car industry (Jul 7, 2016 | KPCC-Pasadena)
- Mary “Missy” Cummings: Tesla's troubles (Jul 6, 2016 | CNBC)
- Missy Cummings comments: NHTSA probes Tesla self-driving cars after fatal crash (Jul 1, 2016 | The Detroit News)
- A Tesla fatality and the future of self-driving cars (Jul 1, 2016 | The Atlantic)
- Mary Cummings comments: Why is Google's co-founder secretly investing in flying cars? (Jun 10, 2016 | The Christian Science Monitor)
- Missy Cummings comments: The almost self-driving car is here (Apr 19, 2016 | WBUR-NPR’s “On Point”)
- Driverless-car makers on privacy: Just trust us (Mar 25, 2016 | The Atlantic)
- Video: Missy Cummings testifies at hearing on self-driving cars (Mar 16, 2016 | C-SPAN)
- Missy Cummings: Self-driving cars are ‘absolutely not’ ready for deployment (Mar 16, 2016 | PBS NewsHour, AP)
- Robots may be eyeing your job, and other lessons from Cusp Conference (Oct 13, 2015 | Chicago Tribune)
- Duke Engineering Invaded by Robots! (Jun 11, 2015)
- Missy Cummings: Drones Fly Into the Future (May 27, 2015 | Duke Magazine)
- Mary Cummings: Drones and the future of war (May 22, 2015 | Australian Broadcasting)
- Mary “Missy” Cummings quoted: Planes without pilots (Apr 7, 2015 | The New York Times)
- What To Do About Drones (Jan 29, 2015 | CNN)
- Cummings, M. L., S. Li, H. Han, and C. Aguilar. “Modeling efficiency and safety on an aircraft carrier flight deck.” Journal of Defense Modeling and Simulation, January 1, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1177/15485129221150939.
- Cummings, M. L., and B. Bauchwitz. “Driver Alerting in ADAS-Equipped Cars: A Field Study.” In Proceedings - 2023 IEEE International Conference on Assured Autonomy, ICAA 2023, 29–33, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICAA58325.2023.00012.
- Cummings, M. L., H. Nassar, and V. Alaparthy. “Defining the Tradespace for Passively Defending Against Rogue Drones.” Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems: Theory and Applications 103, no. 4 (December 1, 2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10846-021-01524-w.
- Cummings, M. L., and S. Li. “Subjectivity in the Creation of Machine Learning Models.” Journal of Data and Information Quality 13, no. 2 (May 13, 2021). https://doi.org/10.1145/3418034.
- Alaparthy, V., S. Mandal, and M. Cummings. “Machine Learning vs. Human Performance in the Realtime Acoustic Detection of Drones.” In IEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings, Vol. 2021-March, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1109/AERO50100.2021.9438533.