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Student Awarded 2022–23 Mazilu Engineering Research Fellowship

Jun 21, 2022   |   by Catha Mayor

Cameron Wolfe '23 was awarded the Mazilu Engineering Research Fellowship for 2022–2023. The award will support Wolfe's work with Dartmouth Engineering professor Laura Ray on applications of machine learning and controls.

Cameron Wolfe '23

"I am truly grateful to be selected as this year's Mazilu Fellow to investigate the application of machine learning in robotics," says Wolfe. "As computers have become more and more powerful, the field of machine learning — which fundamentally involves creating a model that predicts an output given input data — has exploded. From simple tasks like filtering spam emails out of your inbox to complicated tasks like autonomously driving a car down the road, many of the technologies that we use every day rely on machine learning. Due to the complexities inherent in interacting with the physical world, robotics is a clear application for machine learning, as many of the tasks we wish to perform, especially if we want them to be done optimally, cannot easily be modeled from first principles. We must, therefore, learn how to do them. 

"My project will involve the creation of a robotic foosball table, which will involve creating both the physical mechanisms to move the players, as well as integrating all of the electronics needed to sense the state of and control the system. Once this is done, we are still left with the question: what should I tell the robot to do in order to win? This is where machine learning comes in, and will be the main focus of my research.

"I would like to thank the Mazilu family for creating this fellowship. It not only allows Thayer students to pursue projects that they might not have been able to otherwise, but also allows us to explore the space of engineering research and discover the questions that we are passionate about — the ones that keep us up in the middle of the night as we ponder possible solutions and reason through new approaches. I am extremely appreciative for the opportunities that the fellowship provides, and I am excited to see where the project takes me!"

"We are grateful to the Mazilu family for their support of undergraduate research at Thayer and giving Cameron the opportunity to continue research in learning control that he started through the presidential scholar program," said Professor Ray. "I look forward to working with him on this research."

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