Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundation of Robotics

Mérida, México, December 8th, 2018

A Full-day Robotics and Mentoring Workshop

It is our goal to motivate and encourage undergraduate students to graduate school through the exciting research area of robotics, as well as to foster a community of graduate student and faculty mentors. Robotics is a very unique field that requires applied engineering, basic science, strong creativity, and collaboration skills. Despite this challenge, robots are becoming ubiquitous tools for many daily tasks including manufacturing, package delivery, and in home assistance. Experts in robotics are diverse researchers often integrating machine learning, AI, hardware, and human factors.

Undergraduate participants, in small groups, will be mentored by graduate students and experts in the field. Some undergraduate participants will attend in person and other will attend virtually. Virtual participants will also get the benefit of participating in the WAFR conference. Follow-up mentoring will happen monthly.

Graduate students who are selected for Robot Guru will be WAFR Robot Guru Fellows. Not only will they mentor their small team, but they will also be assigned a faculty or industry mentor at the WAFR conference. They are asked to maintain once monthly contact with their undergraduate cohort, facilitated by the Robot Guru organizers.

At the full-day workshop, the main topics addressed by keynote and invited speakers are those critical to success in applying for and attending graduate school, the role of graduate studies in building a career in robotics, several discipline-specific challenges, and strategies to overcome these challenges. Throughout the workshop, graduate mentors will connect virtually with undergraduate attendees to answer questions and to build strong mentor-mentee relationship. Small group discussions with faculty, graduate mentors, and undergraduates will be held for in-depth conversation of the topics.