Chris Robinson ‘12 presented independent research on vehicle routing at the July 2017 SAI Computing Conference in London, England. The event’s website describes it as “a premier venue for researchers and industry practitioners to share new ideas, research results and development experiences in various fields.”
Although Robinson is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in electrical engineering at the University of Louisville, he credits the support of Centre College faculty for making his presentation at the prestigious conference a reality, as well as the Centre community at large for the “atmosphere that taught me to pursue my interests.”
At the University of Louisville, Robinson focuses his work on artificial intelligence and robotics. He is a research assistant for the solar fuels group at the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research and the next gen systems group in the electrical engineering department at the Speed School. At the center, he works on automation of a plasma-based synthesis process for making catalysts, and with the NGS group, he heads up AI development for a robotic nursing assistant.
“My [independent] research in general revolves around the synthesis of traditional artificial intelligence and modern machine learning algorithms,” he explains. “The paper I presented discusses a heuristic (or approximate) method of solving the vehicle routing problem, which seeks the most efficient way to schedule (in metaphoric terms) deliveries from a depot location to a number of networked receiving sites. There are a large number of problems that can be modeled as vehicle routing, and so it is important to have efficient solutions to it.”
Robinson attributes a large portion of what he’s accomplished to his Centre advisors and other professors that influenced and inspired him, during his time at the College.
“My advisors, H.W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Mathematics John Wilson and Associate Professor of Physics Jim Kelly, were both strong advocates for my interests and direct supporters of mine in taking on several independent study projects,” he explained.
In addition, he also credits a number of other professors at Centre, including H.W. Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Mathematics Alex McAllister; Professor Emeritus of Physics Bill Crummett; Associate Professor of Physics Jason Neiser; Margaret V. Haggin Professor Emerita of Mathematics and Computer Science Christine Shannon; and Professor Emeritus of Psychology Don Brown.
“The gestalt here is that my experience at Centre was a continuous series of interactions with extraordinary people who, time and time again, demonstrated that my curiosity and effort were valuable, and that personal motivation was reason enough to pursue something,” he concluded.
by Cindy Long
September 15, 2017