Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), U.S. government agency administered by the Department of Defense (see Defense, United States Department of). It was established in 1958, in reaction to the previous year's successful launch of Sputnik by the USSR, as the Advanced Research Projects Agency. Although DARPA is only one of many military agencies administering research and development funds, it has been crucial to the development of several important technologies, especially military computers and the Internet. DARPA funds a high percentage of all artificial intelligence research in the United States, as well as significant projects in microelectronics, materials, and behavioral science. Among its more recent projects have been the development of robot cars and of computer-controlled surgical procedures.

See M. Belfiore, The Department of Mad Scientists (2009).

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