Artificial Intelligence Competition

Explainable Fuzzy AI Challenge (XFC 2022)

The organizers are already working hard to bring you the second annual Explainable Fuzzy AI Challenge! In the meantime, check out our winners from the inaugural challenge below, and learn about the details of that challenge.

XFC 2021 Competition Results

Congratulation to everyone who made the inaugural Explainable Fuzzy Challenge a success! The organizers are grateful to everyone that helped and contributed including the judges from universities and the North American Fuzzy Processing Society (NAFIPS) that all have fuzzy logic/AI expertise, UC, NAFIPS, and this year’s sponsor Thales. We’re excited to build on this to create an even better experience next year and drive this to be an ongoing competition to engage students and push the boundaries of explainable, Fuzzy-based AI. Also congratulations to all of the students that participated this year. They worked hard and developed exciting solutions in a very limited time. Without further ado, the winners for each prize for the competitions are as follows: 


  • 1st place: Team Asimov – Wesley Bumpus, Kate O’Grady, Lester Roberts 
  • 2nd place: Harry Stamper’s Crew – Sam King 
  • 3rd place: Team HeiTerry – Daniel Heitmeyer, Matthew Terry

Other Awards

  • Most Explainable Award: Harry Stamper’s Crew – Sam King 
  • Most Innovative Award: Team Asimov – Wesley Bumpus, Kate O’Grady, Lester Roberts 
  • Most Computationally Efficient Award: Team Asimov – Wesley Bumpus, Kate O’Grady, Lester Roberts

Congratulations again to the teams! 

View team’s controller’s in action.

Check out the summary and breakdown of the performance of the teams.



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Timothy Arnett
AI Verification Lead, Thales

Dr. Timothy Arnett is the AI Verification Lead at Thales in Cincinnati. His focus is on development of Genetic Fuzzy Tree-based AI methods along with their verification using Formal Methods. His graduate work at the University of Cincinnati was mainly devoted to work on the scalability and verifiability of Fuzzy Systems.

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Kelly Cohen
Brian H. Rowe endowed Chair and Interim Head, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

Dr. Kelly Cohen is the Brian H. Rowe endowed Chair and Interim Head, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, University of Cincinnati (UC). His main expertise lies in the area of Artificial Intelligence (AI), intelligent systems, UAVs and optimization. He has utilized genetic fuzzy logic-based algorithms for control and decision-making applications in the area of autonomous collaborating robotics as well as predictive modeling for personalizing medical treatment in neurological disorders. During the past seven years, he has secured grants from NSF, NIH, USAF, DHS and NASA to develop algorithms for UAV applications as well as AI for bio-medical applications. He has over 65 per reviewed archival publications, and another 270 conference papers/presentations, and invited seminars.

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Nick Ernest
Chief Architect for Thales Avionics, Inc.

Dr. Nick Ernest is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Aerospace Engineering & Engineering Mechanics.  The focus of his research is genetic fuzzy artificial intelligence and he founded Psibernetix Inc. to develop these systems for clients primarily within the defense & aerospace domain.  In 2018 Psibernetix was acquired by Thales, a Paris-headquartered global leader within this area.  Dr. Ernest now serves as Chief Architect for Thales Avionics, Inc., based out of Cincinnati.

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Brandon Kunkel
Senior AI Engineer, Thales

Brandon is a Senior AI Engineer with a focus on explainable Fuzzy AI  at Thales USA.  He graduated with his BS in Aerospace Engineering from UC in 2017.

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Javier Viana
Ph.D. Candidate, Explainable Artificial Intelligence; Aerospace Engineering

Javier is a Ph.D. candidate in Explainable Artificial Intelligence applied to Aerospace Engineering at the UC. His research is sponsored by the “la Caixa” Fellowship Award. In the past he has interned as designer of algorithms at Genexia, Aurora Flight Sciences (Boeing), Satlantis Microsatellites and the European Space Agency. 

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Lynn Pickering
Ph.D. candidate, Aerospace Engineering

Lynn is a first year PhD candidate in Aerospace Engineering, with a focus on Genetic Fuzzy Systems under Dr. Kelly Cohen at the University of Cincinnati. She has 3 publications in the field of Artificial intelligence, and is currently funded by the Rindsberg Fellowship. 

Contact Us

Please contact Javier at for general competition questions.