Final project for the UCSC CMPE-118 Introduction to Mechatronics class, a 'droid based bullfight.
I am faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in the Computer Engineering department. My background is in Aerospace Engineering (Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford, where I got my Ph.D.), and my field is applied control theory to autonomous vehicles. My research can be summed up rather simply: lower the cost (and hence increase the ubiquity) of autonomous systems by substituting the inexpensive (processing power) for the expensive (sensors and actuators). I tend to occupy a fine line between hardware and software, and still do a whole bunch of GNC (Guidance, Navigation, and Control) work to keep everything running. You can find my official website here which has more background on my professional activities. As for my personal background, I was born in Sousse, Tunisia. I spent a fair bit of my childhood moving around from place to place, as my father was civil engineer working on infrastructure projects of various sorts around the world. I spent six years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where I went to high school. I got my undergraduate degree from Princeton University, in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Following Princeton, I went to work for an international oilfield services company: Schlumberger. I spent a year in Algeria, and another in Nigeria before leaving Schlumberger. From there I went to Israel, where I spent a year studying Aeronautics at the Technion in Haifa. I returned from Israel and started at Stanford University, in the Aeronautics and Astronautics department. I received my Masters and Ph.D. from Stanford, where I built an autonomous catamaran for my thesis. The catamaran was based on a modified Prindle-19, with the mast removed and replaced by a freely rotating wingsail. After graduation, I spent a year in Los Angeles consulting on an autonomous ground vehicle project. I joined the Computer Engineering Faculty at UC Santa Cruz in 2003, and am now enjoying living near the cliffs on the west side of Santa Cruz.