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Winter 2003

Martin named 'Student of the Year'

Photo of Robert F.K. Martin

Robert F.K. Martin

Graduate research assistant Robert F.K. Martin has received the ITS Institute's 2002 Outstanding Student of the Year Award. He was recommended for the award by Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos, professor of computer science and engineering.

Martin, who earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota, is seeking his master's in computer and information science. His current work is focused on the detection, tracking, and classification of vehicles using computer vision techniques. He was chosen for the award based on his contributions to addressing the problem of shadow removal for vehicle detection and classification.

Martin has held previous positions as a principal software engineer for Lockheed Martin-Technical Defense Systems and as a software engineer for MicroDynamics Corporation. This experience provided him with the programming background that has been invaluable to his current research for the ITS Institute.

Martin says he appreciates being recognized for the work he's accomplished thus far, since as a graduate student, "there is your ultimate goal of getting a degree, but in between the beginning and the end, it feels like a lot of work goes unnoticed. Receiving this award was a large pat on the back."

In addition to his academic work, Martin volunteers with several area programs, including Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Minnesota, Second Harvest Food Shelf, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Minneapolis.

Martin plans to pursue a Ph.D. and then teach and conduct research in the area of computer science, specializing in computer vision and the cognitive workings of human vision.

Martin received the award in January at the Transportation Research Board 82nd Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. It was presented by Ellen Engleman, administrator, USDOT Research and Special Projects Administration, and J. Richard Capka, deputy administrator, Federal Highway Administration.