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Four Current Students in Computer Science and Engineering Receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

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Four students currently enrolled in UM graduate and undergraduate programs of study in computer science and engineering have been awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships to continue their work. Our congratulations to all!

Ryan Marcotte


Ryan Marcotte

CSE graduate student Ryan Marcotte was selected for an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship from the Department of Defense.

Ryan works with Prof. Edwin Olson in the APRIL Lab, where his research is in the area of multi-agent search algorithms for both known and unexplored environments. These techniques could enable search teams to save critical minutes in finding survivors of a natural disaster, law enforcement to track down suspected criminals in a manhunt, or any number of other applications in which teams of human or robotic agents must search for something or someone that is missing.

Ryan graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2015 from UT Dallas with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. At UTD, he was a Eugene McDermott Scholar, worked on the UTD Robot Chess Project, and founded RISE, an outreach organization that brings hands-on science and engineering demonstrations to elementary students in the Dallas community.

Joshua Adkins


Joshua Adkins

Joshua Adkins is a senior in Computer Engineering and has worked with Prof. Prabal Dutta in Lab 11, the Embedded Systems Lab in CSE. His research interests lie in the areas of embedded systems, ubiquitous computing, and energy harvesting. He has been working on Monoxalyze, a mobile smoking cessation verification system, as well as other projects that aim to lower the barrier for interacting with embedded, Internet-of-Things devices.

Moving forward, Josh intends to study the potential for ecosystems of disparate embedded sensors and actuators to work together and accomplish coordinated tasks. He is also interested in systems that will enable the scalable deployment of energy-harvesting, sensors and actuators. Ultimately, he hopes that his work will contribute to realizing the goal of easily deploying networks of small, low-power, devices that can improve quality of life and safety in both residential and industrial environments.

Genevieve Flaspohler


Genevieve Flaspohler

Genevieve Flaspohler is a senior in Computer Engineering. During the past four years, Genevieve has been involved in many interesting interdisciplinary research projects at the University of Michigan. She has worked with Prof. Art Kuo in Mechanical Engineering to develop intelligent lower limb protheses, with Prof. Prabal Dutta to explore new communication paradigms for low-power embedded devices, and most recently, has collaborated withDr. Alex Shorter in Mechanical Engineering to design custom embedded sensor tags and data processing algorithms that will enable biologists to study the behavior of invertebrate marine animals such as squid and jellyfish.

Next fall, Genevieve will pursue a PhD in computer science with a focus in oceanography. Her research interests include problems in perception and exploration for autonomous marine robots and the development of learning algorithms for behavior classification in marine ecosystems.

Outside of research, Genevieve has been an active member of the Woven Wind student engineering team. After two years of collaboration with A2STEAM elementary school in Ann Arbor, the team installed a small-scale educational wind turbine at the school this spring. She has also been involved in the gEECS mentorship program at Michigan, was a peer mentor in the Michigan Research Community, and will spend this summer working for Dunkadoo, a non-profit organization in Ann Arbor that develops software for conservation organizations and citizen scientists to capture and analyze their field data.

Clark Zhang


Clark Zhang

Clark Zhang is a senior in Computer Engineering. Often, collecting data from a network of different sensors can be a long process. A unique set of data filters has to be designed for different sensor systems to decide what information is gathered – a process that is not very standardized or methodical. Clark proposed framing this issue as an optimization problem, expressing the characteristics of the system as constraints that an optimizer can run automatically, making a solution easier to formulate for different systems.

As an undergrad, Clark was a part of the Michigan Autonomous Aerial Vehicles (MAAV) team, working with the controls subgroup. He held a variety of internships, including a software position at Thomson Reuters and micro-architecture verification at Intel.

Most recently, he took a semester off to work at a drone technology startup called Vayu. This company develops drones to solve the problem of healthcare delivery in undeveloped nations. Clark filled many roles at the small company, spanning work in controls, computer vision, programming, IT, and more.

This summer, Clark will be working as an intern at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. There, he’ll be a part of a project called Resilient Spacecraft Architecture, which works to make the autonomous systems on spacecraft more robust  and willing to take risks without an operator intervening.


Posted: April 4, 2016