Zachary Dodds

Computer science, Computer vision, CS curriculum, CS outreach, High school CS, Middle school CS, Robotics

Zachary Dodds, PhD, Leonard-Johnson-Rae Professor of Computer Science, researches robotic hand/eye coordination and computer vision-based robotics.

He is interested in finding the best way to tell a robot what to do and ensure it gets done, using cameras as sensors. When a robot and a human are looking at the same thing, it isn’t obvious how to translate the human’s intentions into robotic action, and it is time-consuming to program the robot accordingly. Dodds’ goal is to push more of the work of generating those task-specific details onto the computer itself, increasing robotic capabilities for spatial-reasoning such as mapping, localization and autonomous navigation. His work leverages both wheeled and aerial platforms.

Dodds also specializes in computer science education and curriculum design.

He co-created a highly successful, innovative introductory CS course, CS5, designed to engage students in exploring the range and power of computer science and its impact on society, in a learning environment that appeals to women. Since its deployment, HMC has more than tripled its percentage of women CS majors, resulting in a gender ratio that is triple the national average.

He has broadened this curricular effort to middle and high schools with Middle-years Computer Science, a CS course that has been adopted by many districts and classrooms across the southwest United States.

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