KGSP Enrichment Spotlight: Nadia Almutlak

This summer Nadia Almutlak, a  KGSP junior at Columbia University, participated in the Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute Summer Scholar (RISS) Research for Undergraduates Program.  As one of only 35 students selected from over 1,000 applicants (!), Nadia and her fellow RISS scholars joined in ground-breaking robotics research under the mentorship of a diverse team of Carnegie Mellon’s world-renowned faculty.  

Nadia worked in Dr. Henny Admoni’s Human and Robots Partners Lab on a project entitled “Incorporating Eye Gaze Into Shared Autonomy for Assistive Robots, ” which aimed to make assistive robotic arms more user-friendly for disabled persons by introducing eye gaze technology intended to optimize the robot’s functionality.  Nadia created and adjusted computer models and debugged advanced computer programming, which in turn improved her coding skills and taught her how to use ROS, a robot operating system. 

Nadia presenting her research poster
Nadia presenting her research poster

Nadia enjoyed working in the lab, stating that “It was a good experience to practice long-term planning. I set goals and timelines, and then I had to keep myself to that timeline or learn how to adjust it appropriately to respond to those inevitable unexpected changes in research outcomes”.  From this experience, she also said that she gained an appreciation for the rigors and responsibilities that graduate school will entail. 

Nadia is excited to be continuing her work with Dr. Admoni into her fall semester at Columbia by analyzing data from ongoing experiments at CMU!