Robotics vision course dives into the tech behind driverless vehicles

Sridhar Lakshmanan has taught the robotics vision course at UM-Dearborn plenty of times before. But this semester, the associate professor thought he’d spice up the class by adding an obvious missing ingredient: an actual robot. In this case, it’s an open-source research robot known as a “TurtleBot” — so-named because of its short, squat profile, and its top speed of roughly 1.5 miles per hour. A herd of 15 TurtleBots was acquired for the class with matching funds from UM-Dearborn’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Henry W. Patton Center for Engineering Education and Practice. Now, all the students’ knowledge of algorithms and linear algebra will get put to the test in a final team project. The big exam will be making their TurtleBots autonomously traverse a mini obstacle course in the Institute for Advanced Vehicle Systems’ high bay lab — equipped only with the programming the student teams provide. As in, no remote controls allowed.

UM-Dearborn recognizes faculty, students at annual ceremony

Seven faculty members were honored at UM-Dearborn’s 36th annual Honor Scholars and Faculty Awards Ceremony for their outstanding teaching, research and service. The occasion also recognized the undergraduate and graduate students who have excelled academically. The faculty and their honors were Hyejin Kim, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, College of Arts, Sciences and Letters, Distinguished Teaching Award; Brahim Medjahed, associate professor of computer and information science, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Distinguished Teaching Award; Marouane Kessentini, assistant professor of computer and information science, CECS, Distinguished Digital Education Award; Ya Sha Yi, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, CECS, Distinguished Research Award; Frank Massey, associate professor mathematics, CASL, Distinguished Service Award; Susan Baker, lecturer IV in accounting and finance, College of Business, Collegiate Lecturer Award; and Marilee Benore, professor of biology and biochemistry, CASL, Eugene Arden Interdisciplinary Research/Teaching Award.

Campus Memorial to honor students who died in 2017-18

Friends, family members and campus partners are invited to attend a memorial program to honor the lives and accomplishments of student members of the U-M family who died during this academic year. The Campus Memorial is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today (April 9) in the Anderson Room of the Michigan Union. A light reception will follow in the Opera Lounge. The Michigan experience has been forever impacted by the companionship and contributions of those being honored, and the end of the academic year is a fitting time to offer remembrances and commemorations. This year four members of the U-M student community will be remembered: Jean Yves Ishimwe, Xin Rong, Julia Suhajda and Joshua Tanon. The Campus Memorial is sponsored by the Division of Student Life and the Association of Religious Counselors.

Election for Police Department Oversight Committee ends April 20

The election for the non-Senate faculty representative for the U-M Police Department Oversight Committee is now underway. Lecturers, active emeriti, adjunct and clinical faculty members are eligible to vote for this position. The candidates are Howard Bromberg, clinical professor of law, Law School; Brendan Byrne, assistant professor of emergency medicine, Medical School; Diana Peacor, adjunct lecturer in nursing, School of Nursing; Nadia Sutton, clinical lecturer in internal medicine, Medical School; and Adam Wright, lecturer, Medical School. To review the candidate statements and vote, visit Online voting is available through 5 p.m. April 20. For questions about the committee or the election process, contact Julie Doman at

— Compiled by Safiya Merchant and Jill Greenberg, The University Record