David Benjamin

David Benjamin

Director of Ph.D. program in Computer Science
Seidenberg School of CSIS
Computer Science

David Benjamin

15 Beekman
| Office Hours: Mon, Wed 11:45am-1:15pm


Faculty Bio

Dr. Benjamin earned his doctorate in computer science from NYU. He worked for six years in industry before entering academia. Currently, he is professor of computer science and founder and director of the Robotics Lab at Pace University in New York City.

Awards and Honors

  • Pace University, 2010, U.S. Patent 60/654,415 - System for Intrusion Detection and Vulnerability Assessment in a Computer Network using Simulation and Machine Learning
  • Pace University - CS NY, 2006, Spring 2006 Course Release to write grant proposals
  • Reengineering LLC, 2004, U.S. Patent 6,691,132 - Semantic Encoding and Compression of Database Tables
  • New York University, 1983, Graduate Research Assistant


PhD, New York University, 1985
Computer Science

MS, New York University, 1982
Computer Science

BFA, Carnegie Mellon University, 1976

MS, Carnegie Mellon University, 1975

BS, Carnegie Mellon University, 1973

Research and Creative Works

Research Interest

Robotics; Artificial Intelligence (Application of Artificial Intelligence to Networks); Cybersecurity; Data Mining; Application of semigroup theory to theory formulation

Grants, Sponsored Research and Contracts

Strengthening Pace’s Cyber Community and Pathways using Research Experience, Technical Training and Institutional Outreach
Chen, L., Benjamin, D., Hayes, D., Ryan, J. & Cotoranu, A. August 2021 - August 2026. National Science Foundation, Federal. Funded.

A Humanoid Robot for Investigating Spatial Understanding in Human-Robot Collaboration
Benjamin, D. September 2019 - August 2020. Office of Naval Research, Federal. Funded. The Pace University Robotics Lab is developing a robotic architecture based on cognitive principles for autonomous robots that can safely interact and collaborate with people on a wide range of physical tasks. Central to our architecture is its mental model, which is a 3D virtual world that the architecture synchronizes with the environment in real time. This mental model represents changes in causation in the world and generates expectations about physical change in the world. A main scientific focus of this project is the development of the 3D virtual world and its use in planning, learning and communication in Human-Robot interaction.
This proposal is for funding to support the purchase of a humanoid robot platform. Currently, our robots are Pioneer 2 and 3 robots, which are sufficient for investigating basic issues in navigation, path planning, and perception. However, we are investigating how people and robots can collaborate on tasks that involve interacting with and manipulating the environment. This includes assembly tasks, as well as tasks involving robots and people moving together. Small Pioneer robots are inadequate for performing such tasks, due to their limited sensory capabilities, small size, and almost nonexistent ability to manipulate their environment.
The platform we have selected is the Pioneer Manipulator Research Platform. It’s size and humanoid configuration make possible much more natural interaction with people, and its two Kinova Jaco2 manipulators enable it to perform physical tasks involving gripping and carrying. The sensory capabilities of the platform are superior to that of the basic Pioneer robots, and include laser range finding, gyroscope, sonar, and range cameras. In addition, the platform has speakers and a speech synthesizer.
The budget for this proposal also includes supporting computers, including a powerful workstation to serve as the base for the project and a laptop. This workstation has 56 cores and 256GB memory, plus a high-end graphics card with 1536 CUDAs. The laptop will add computing power to the robot’s onboard computers.
The software used in our architecture includes a lot of open source code, including OpenCV, PhysX and Soar. All of the software produced by our project is open source; however, much of our analytical code is Mathematica and Matlab code, and the proposal budget includes upgrades to the licenses, especially obtaining a gridMathematica license to fully utilize the cores in the workstation.
The project will produce many large vision datasets, and will utilize a large library of recognized objects and their 3D mesh models. This requires significant storage space, which will be provided by a 40TB external drive.

Courses Taught

Past Courses

CIS 101: Forensic Computing
CIT 312: Introduction to Programming l
CIT 314: Introduction to Programming II
CS 121: Computer Programming I
CS 122: Computer Programming II
CS 232: Computer Organization
CS 241: Data Structures/Algorithms I
CS 242: Algorithms & Computing Theory
CS 242: Data Structure/Algorithms II
CS 271: Fndmntl of Unix Operating Sys
CS 271: Fund Unix Operating System
CS 271: Fundmntls of Unix and C Prgmng
CS 325: Introduction to Data Mining
CS 385: Artificial Intelligence I
CS 397: Topic:Linux System Programming
CS 397: Tpc:Windows System Programming
CS 490: Ind Study in Computer Science
CS 502: Fund Comp Sci I using Java
CS 502: Fundamentals of Programming
CS 504: Advanced Programming
CS 504: Fund Comp Sci II using Java
CS 600: Indpndnt Study in Grad CS
CS 608: Algorithms & Computing Theory
CS 619: Data Mining
CS 627: Artificial Intelligence
CS 630: Intelligent Agents
CS 631: Topic: Topics in Unix
CS 631: Topic:Linux System Programming
CS 631: Tpc:Windows System Programming
CS 631: UNIX System Programming
CS 638: Network Analysis and Design
CS 646: Entrprs Syst Intgrtn Web Srvc
CS 646: Entrps Syst Intgrtn Web Srvc
CS 648: Unix/Linux Programming
CS 657: Windows System Programming
CS 693: Thesis I
CS 694: Thesis II
CS 701: Advanced Algorithms
CS 702: Research Seminar
CS 727: Adv. Artificial Intelligence
CS 804: Independent Research
CS 806: Dissertation Preparation
CS 827: Advncd Artificial Intelligence
DCS 891: Research Seminar VI
DCS 990: Dissertation for DPS in Cmptng
DCS 991: Dssrttn for DPS in Cmptg II
IS 223: Fundamentals of Programming
IS 323: Object-Oriented Programming
IS 600: Grad Independent Study in IS
IT 669: Building Secure Software II
MM 803: Maintain Matriculation-CS PhD

Publications and Presentations


Classification and Prediction of Human Behaviors by a Mobile Robot
Benjamin, D. P., Yue, H. & Lyons, D. Academic Journal.

Progress in Building a Cognitive Vision System
, D. P., Lyons, D. & Yue, H.


Spatial Understanding as a Common Basis for Human-Robot Collaboration
Benjamin, D. (2019). MID2019. Pace University,

Professional Contributions and Service

Intellectual Property

Patent: System for Intrusion Detection and Vulnerability Assessment in a Computer Network using Simulation and Machine Learning , United States

Patent: Semantic Encoding and Compression of Database Tables , United States

Professional Memberships

  • American Association for Artificial Intelligence
  • Association for Computing Machinery
  • Sigma Xi

College Service

  • MID (Machine Intelligence Day) conference organizing committee [Committee Chair]
  • Computer Science Ph.D. Supervisory Committee [Committee Chair]
  • Faculty Search Committee [Committee Member]