matt sheckellsName: Matt Sheckells

Major: Computer Science and Physics ’13, now studying PhD in Computer Science

Hometown: Ellicott City, Maryland

What do you want to do with your major? I’m looking to do robotics and work in a research lab, developing algorithms for robots, or maybe augmented reality.

What surprised you about Hopkins? How open and willing professors are to work with undergrads on anything; they’re happy to have people work with them on their own research.

What have you discovered recently? Yesterday I went solemn skiing for the first time.

What advice do you have for an incoming freshman? Don’t be afraid to take hard classes or get involved in research. It really pays off.

What do you like to do when you’re not working with robots? Play club lacrosse here.

What’s something you wish that you had gotten involved in? I wish I could’ve been on the real lacrosse team! No, I wish I could’ve gotten involved in robotics earlier. I did Physics research, but didn’t get involved in robotics until recently.

What is your favorite Hopkins memory? My friends and I decided to go out in nothing but Halo masks and hula skirts for Halloween.

Where’s the coolest place you’ve been? I studied abroad in Ghana during Intersession. I took a Writing Intensive class called Ghana: History, Politics, and Culture. Did a little volunteering for a local school and went to a huge national park in northern Ghana where we got to go on a safari!

Tell us more about your drone! Drone? Well, yeah… it’s a quad copter-drone. So I fly it with a romote… this is part of a small summer project that I’m doing with the Kobilarov Lab (in the Robotorium, robotics lab in Hackerman). There’s a camera on it and for the project I’m doing, we’re taking video data of the campus and using the images to create a 3-D reconstruction of campus. It’s not for visual, really, it’s going to look a little odd, but it’s to test motion algorithms—path planning.