Sam Burden

Sam Burden

I am an Assistant Professor in Electrical & Computer Engineering at UW Seattle.

I am co-director of the BioRobotics Lab and AMP Center.

I am affiliated with the WRF-funded UW Institute for Neuroengineering (UWIN) and the AFOSR-funded Center of Excellence on Nature-Inspired Flight Technologies and Ideas (NIFTI).

I am broadly interested in discovering and formalizing principles of sensorimotor control; I develop and employ data-driven modeling tools and focus on applications in biologically-inspired robotics, neuromechanical motor control, and human-cyber-physical systems.

I teach AA/EE/ME 547 (Linear Systems Theory) and AA/EE/ME 548 (Linear Multivariable Control).

I keep my availability up-to-date on my calendar — I’m usually available in any open slot 8a–5p pt M–F.

I try to keep my CV up-to-date, but I suggest checking papers and talks for recent results.

I’m on arXiv, Scholar, GitHub, and LinkedIn.

I was born in a (formerly) little-known town on the (stunning) Olympic Peninsula.

I enjoy climbing, paddleboarding, and hiking.

My pronouns are he/him/his.

brief bio

Sam Burden earned his BS with Honors in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2008. He earned his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of California in Berkeley in 2014, where he subsequently spent one year as a Postdoctoral Scholar. In 2015, he returned to UW EE (now ECE) as an Assistant Professor; in 2016, he received a Young Investigator award from the Army Research Office (ARO-YIP). Sam is broadly interested in discovering and formalizing principles of sensorimotor control. Specifically, he focuses on applications in dynamic and dexterous robotics, neuromechanical motor control, and human-cyber-physical systems. In his spare time, he teaches robotics to students of all ages in classrooms and campus events.


2016 — ARO Young Investigator Program

2011 — UC Berkeley Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor

2009 — NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

research program

I am always eager to recruit motivated and independent folks. If you’re interested in joining my group, I encourage you to get in contact with me. Ideally we’ll meet in person, e.g. at a conference, but we can also connect over email.

Before reaching out, look at my recent papers, talks, and videos below, and let me know (a) what ideas or problems you find particularly interesting and (b) how you would want to contribute.

Why (or, more specifically, when) do feedforward inputs yield stable behaviors? (slides) (chalk talk)

At the 2018 Dynamic Walking meeting in Pensacola, FL, I gave a hybrid slideshow / “chalk talk” on our contraction theory results, which generated a lot of interesting discussions.

Toward Telelocomotion

I gave this talk on Sep 30 2016 at Microsoft Research in Redmond; I particularly enjoyed the lively discussion that took place throughout this talk!

Predictive dynamical models for sensorimotor control

I gave this talk on Nov 17 2015, shortly after starting as an Asst Prof in UW EE; it provides an overview of the work I did toward the end of my PhD and as a postdoc.

Reduction and Identification for Models of Locomotion: an Emerging Systems Theory for Neuromechanics

I gave this talk on Feb 18 2014, during my interview at UW EE; it provides an overview of my thesis work.