This year, four students studying computer science at Tufts University were nominated for the Computing Research Association’s (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Awards, and all four were ultimately recognized by the CRA. Samuel Shaw, E20, was named a finalist, while fellow School of Engineering seniors Amel Hassan, Oliver Korten, and Faizan Muhammad each received an honorable mention.
Shaw’s research interests include the development of biologically-inspired robots. “I am interested in how we can take cues from biological systems to inform the design and control of modern robots,” he said. “During my time at Tufts, I researched central pattern generators (CPGs), a biologically-inspired gait generation method for articulated robots. More specifically, I explored how sensory feedback can be incorporated into CPGs to allow legged robots to traverse challenging terrain: steep inclines, rocks, and stairs.”
Hassan and Muhammad also studied robotics at Tufts — both students collaborated with James Schmolze Assistant Professor Jivko Sinapov’s research group on projects that brought together robotics with augmented reality. The group developed an app to help a user visualize what a robot is thinking. “I enjoy research areas that focus on robotics or combine the fields of software and hardware engineering,” said Hassan. In speaking to Tufts Now about his Summer Scholars research project, Muhammad said, “Robotics is a big field, but I’m immersing myself in it now and so far the experience is very good—I feel like I’m halfway there.”
Korten focused on computational geometry, spending the last year working with the Computational Geometry Group at Tufts. “I’ve worked mainly on problems related to robotics and to gerrymandering detection,” he said.
The CRA award program recognizes undergraduate students in North American colleges and universities who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research.