April 16, 2012
Mayer Theater, 7:30 p.m.
James McLurkin thinks swarm robotics is the future. The group of robots in his lab have worked together to navigate new terrain and cooperated to play music using these very techniques. Applications of this technology could be far-ranging, according to McLurkin, including the exploration of planets.
Through his exciting scholarship, McLurkin has established himself as one of the brightest minds in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence. He is an Assistant Professor at Rice University in the Department of Computer Science, where he has taught since 2008.
Engineering has fascinated McLurkin since he was a LEGO-loving child who developed his own video games. McLurkin was the 2003 recipient of the Lemelson-MIT student prize for invention. He holds a S.B. in Electrical Engineering with a Minor in Mechanical Engineering from M.I.T., a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of California, Berkeley, and a S.M. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from M.I.T.
While McLurkin dedicates his career to advancing the field of robotics, another passion is teaching. Since 1995 he’s lectured at universities and companies, while also teaching students from elementary to graduate school in an effort to instill a passion for science and engineering in people of all ages.