Spotlight – Richard Guilmain

Richard GuilmainRichard Guilmain, or Rich as he typically goes by, is originally from Smithfield, RI and is currently in his last semester of college here at URI.

He is completing his B.S. in Computer Science with minors in Mathematics and Jazz Studies.

When asked why Computer Science, he answers, “Because it is a tool for solving really interesting problems across disciplines.”

His research interests primarily include artificial intelligence and, specifically, machine learning.  As such, the class he has found most interesting was an independent study on creative evolutionary systems with Dr. Lutz Hamel, closely followed by his CSC 581 course, Introduction to Machine Learning with Support Vector Machines.  Other classes he has enjoyed include CSC 340 and 440, Mathematical Foundations in Computer Science and Algorithms and Data Structures, respectively, because of how they challenge you to approach problems cleverly.

In January, 2011, Rich received a scholarship to study with the New England Complex Systems Institute at MIT.  This allowed him to work with industry leaders, military officers and postdoctoral researchers to simulate and research emergent behaviors in large scale complex systems.

Rich spent the summer of 2011 in El Paso, Texas, doing computer vision research funded by the National Science Foundation to develop a method of automatically navigating images of Saturn’s rings taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.  He created a poster on this project that highlighted the results and its possible future uses.

In terms of favorite professors, he said he would be pretty hard pressed to choose a favorite professor.  Drs. Baudet, Henry, Lamagna and Hamel have all been very influential.  He also gives a special mention to Deborah Mathews for her extraordinary work with the undergraduates.

After graduation, he has a job lined up working for FarSounder, a company in Warwick that develops 3D forward looking sonar systems.  His current internship there involves developing target tracking capabilities for their system.  “I absolutely love working at FarSounder.  The people there are brilliant, motivated and one of a kind.”  He says it’s been an amazing opportunity getting to work on a project that’s not only seriously interesting, but that customers are really looking forward to seeing shipped.

In addition to working at FarSounder after graduation, he thinks it would be a lot of fun working as a barista at a coffee shop.

Outside of URI, he has taken Stanford’s online Introduction to Artificial Intelligence class, and is currently taking University of California, Berkeley’s online Software as a Service class and Sebastian Thrun’s online Programming a Robotic Car class this semester.

In his spare time, he enjoys looking for clever music and going to concerts.