AU students discuss innovation, technology during first research symposium

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Charles Welty
  • Air University Public Affairs

Augmented reality for special operations units, adaptive flight training, machine learning and cognitive computing were just a few of the topics discussed during the first Air Command and Staff College research symposium held here yesterday and today.

Twenty-seven ACSC students presented their findings from independent research projects they have been conducting over the past three quarters.

“We want to inspire students with the examples of what other students have been doing this year,” said Jonathan Zartman, ACSC associate professor. “This was designed to inspire students in their future roles as commanders, or serving on staff, in the way that they approach solving a problem.”

The symposium consisted of two components: first, the international officers gave a presentation about their perspective on regional security interests. The second component consisted of presentations by students in the independent study project.

“Our school offers more than 100 electives; the students are required to take 6 credit hours of electives,” said Zartman. “If a student has a special background or interest in a subject other than the 100 electives we offer, then, if they prepare a research proposal and if the dean approves their proposal, they can conduct research on other topics.”

Of the 29 students that have chosen this route, 10 of those have decided to tackle big projects for the full six credit hours. These students then gave a 10 minute presentation to all 512 of their classmates about what they were studying, what they learned and why it is valuable for the Air Force.

For the remaining students who chose to only do independent study projects for two or four credit hours, they were given the opportunity to invite any other students interested in what they researched to ask questions about what they have been working on.

“This [symposium] was significant because the students realize that what they are doing is important,” said Zartman, “That what they are doing is not merely a task, that research can improve their lives as Air Force officers, it will improve the Air Force and Americas ability to defend its people.”

Find out more information about AU’s ACSC at