Assistant Professor of Engineering Matt Zucker's mobile robotics class put a semester's worth of knowledge to practical use as his students designed, assembled, and raced robots in the course's culminating activity. Zucker's course addresses the problems of controlling and motivating robots to act intelligently. The semester-end races allow students to take a break from their intensive work in the lab and see what their classmates have been working on, as well as develop a better understanding of the concepts they've learned
Professor Zucker, who earned his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University, is also a member of the committee for Swarthmore's Institute for the Liberal Arts. His work at the College focuses on leveraging optimization and machine-learning techniques, as well as re-using previous computation, in order to produce fast-planning software.