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James McLurkin

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Information about James McLurkin

Profile image of James McLurkin

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Robotics Engineer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pizza
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Scuba Diving
Favorite Quote:
Get it done, Make it happen, and Efficient.

Birthplace

Born:
4/16/1972
Birth Location:
Baldwin, New York

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Robotics Engineer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pizza
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Scuba Diving
Favorite Quote:
Get it done, Make it happen, and Efficient.

Birthplace

Born:
4/16/1972
Birth Location:
Baldwin
See how James McLurkin is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Robotics engineer James McLurkin was born in 1972 in Baldwin, New York. His mother was a speech therapist on Long Island; and, his father, a business manager for AT&T. In 1988, McLurkin built his first robot, Rover, and quickly followed it with many other designs such as LEGO bricks. He also programed self-designed video games. Following graduation from Baldwin High School, McLurkin enrolled at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering with a minor in mechanical engineering in 1995. McLurkin continued his studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated in 1999 with his M.S. in electrical engineering. He returned to MIT and went on to receive his M.S. degree in computer science in 2003, and his Ph.D. in computer science in 2008.

McLurkin worked as an intern at General Motors Advanced Technology Group in 1994, and remained there until he entered graduate school. From 1995 to 1997, he was assigned as research assistant to Dr. Rodney Brooks at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. There, McLurkin designed the “Robotic Ants” robots for his undergraduate thesis. He then began consulting in 1998, and worked on projects with Walt Disney Imagineering and iRobot Corporation. McLurkin created the “SwarmBots” robots during his five-year tenure as lead research scientist at iRobo. In 2009, McLurkin was appointed assistant professor at Rice University. Using nature as a model, McLurkin’s core research has centered around developing distributed algorithms for multi-robot systems – the software for large swarms of autonomous robots. McLurkin’s research articles have been published in academic journals such as International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, International Symposium on Experimental Robotics and IEEE Transactions on Education.

Since 1995, McLurkin has has been asked to speak at Smithsonian Museum, Harvard University, Infosys, IBM, and Honda. In 2002, Mclurkin was featured in the Lemelson Center’s traveling exhibit, “Invention at Play",” and was awarded the 2003 Lemelson MIT Student Prize. He was recognized by Time magazine as one of America’s top-five engineers in the “Rise of the Machines” feature, and by Black Enterprise magazine as the Best and Brightest Under 40.”

James McLurkin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 3, 2013

See how James McLurkin is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James McLurkin's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James McLurkin lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James McLurkin describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James McLurkin talks about the educational background of his mother's family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James McLurkin talks about doctors on his mother's side of the family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James McLurkin talks about his grandfather, Walter Lawson
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James McLurkin talks about his grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James McLurkin talks about his mother's upbringing in Columbus, Ohio
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James McLurkin talks about his mother's career ambitions
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James McLurkin describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James McLurkin talks about his father's undergraduate education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James McLurkin talks about his father, James McLurkin III
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James McLurkin talks about how his parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James McLurkin talks about his father's work experience
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James McLurkin talks about his parents' personalities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James McLurkin talks about his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James McLurkin talks about his childhood neighborhoods
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James McLurkin describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James McLurkin talks about his early education, part 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James McLurkin talks about his early education, part 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James McLurkin talks about his experience at Schubert Elementary School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James McLurkin talks about his introduction to video games and computers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James McLurkin talks about his childhood interests
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James McLurkin talks about his cousin, Roy, and being introduced to video games
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James McLurkin talks about his middle school years and his interest in robots
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James McLurkin talks about his interest in biking
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James McLurkin talks about the social challenges of middle school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James McLurkin talks about his experience at Baldwin High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James McLurkin talks about winning the NAACP ACT-SO science fair
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James McLurkin talks about his high school relationship
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James McLurkin talks about his father's influence on his interests in engineering
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James McLurkin talks about his decision to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James McLurkin talks about his experience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James McLurkin describes the demographics of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James McLurkin talks about his mentors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James McLurkin talks about the Rodney Brooks and the development of robots
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James McLurkin talks about his first small robot, CLEO
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James McLurkin talks about his decision to go to graduate school
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James McLurkin talks about working with Rodney Brooks
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James McLurkin talks about iRobot
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James McLurkin talks about media recognition of his work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James McLurkin describes meeting his wife, Adar
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James McLurkin talks about his wife, Adar
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James McLurkin describes his doctoral research
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James McLurkin talks about his pet ants and the role they play in his robotics research
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James McLurkin talks about artificial intelligence
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James McLurkin talks about his decision to join the faculty at Rice University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James McLurkin talks about multi-robot systems
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James McLurkin talks about multi-robot communications
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James McLurkin talks about dynamic task management
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James McLurkin talks about the future of robotics
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James McLurkin talks about other key players in the robotics industry
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - James McLurkin reflects upon his career
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - James McLurkin shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - James McLurkin talks about his desire to start a family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - James McLurkin talks about his desire to be a well-rounded person
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - James McLurkin talks about how he would like to be remembered