Heard on Campus: James McLurkin

Heard on Campus: James McLurkin
by Santa Clara Magazine |
On April 16, 2012, James McLurkin addressed an audience at Mayer Theatre as part of SCU's President's Speaker Series. His talk, "James McLurkin - Dances with Robots" can be viewed below.

James McLurkin thinks swarm robotics is the future. The group of robots in his lab have worked together to navigate new terrain and cooperated to play music using these very techniques. Applications of this technology could be far-ranging, according to McLurkin, including the exploration of planets.

Through his exciting scholarship, McLurkin has established himself as one of the brightest minds in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence. He is an Assistant Professor at Rice University in the Department of Computer Science, where he has taught since 2008.

Engineering has fascinated McLurkin since he was a LEGO-loving child who developed his own video games. McLurkin was the 2003 recipient of the Lemelson-MIT student prize for invention. He holds a S.B. in Electrical Engineering with a Minor in Mechanical Engineering from M.I.T., a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of California, Berkeley, and a S.M. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from M.I.T.

While McLurkin dedicates his career to advancing the field of robotics, another passion is teaching. Since 1995 he’s lectured at universities and companies, while also teaching students from elementary to graduate school in an effort to instill a passion for science and engineering in people of all ages.

To get more information about the President's Speaker Series, visit the website.

Winter 2014

Table of contents

Features

Rise up, my love

There are the sanctuaries built for worship—and that carry beauty and grace for all to see. Then there are the improvised places of faith, perhaps more subtle in how they speak to the wonder worked there.

The chaplain is in the House

With the way things have gone recently in Congress, looking to the heavens for some help and guidance might seem like a very good idea. In fact, that’s what Pat Conroy, S.J., M.Div. ’83 is there to do.

Welcome to Citizenville

Who published the one book on government in 2013 that conservative firebrand Newt Gingrich told all true believers that they should read? Well, the author is now lieutenant governor of California. Before that, he was mayor of San Francisco. That’s right: It’s Gavin Newsom ’89.

Mission Matters

Goooaal!

Women’s soccer wins the West Coast Conference championship.

Patent trolls, beware

The White House has brought on SCU’s Colleen Chien, a leading expert in patent law, as senior advisor.

A sight of innocence

George Souliotes went to prison for three life sentences after he was convicted of arson and murder. Twenty years later, he’s out—after the Northern California Innocence Project proved he didn’t do it.