MPCR Lab Researchers

  • Taran Knowles

    Undergraduate Researcher, 3D Camera & Animus

    Taran Knowles is a Management Information Systems major at Florida Atlantic University. He is also an Eagle Scout and Petty Officer 2nd Class in the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps. In his many years with both organizations, Taran has acquired numerous leadership and public speaking skills that he plans to utilize throughout MPCR, furthering their message in both the technology and business worlds. Taran is currently co-team leader of the 3D Camera Team, and co-team leader of the Animus Team. His plans with MPCR involve implementing neural networks in the personal fitness community to help reduce the risk of injury and ensure maximum body strength development.

  • Shawn Martin

    Autonomous Rover Team Leader, President of the MCPR Club

    Shawn is an undergraduate dual-enrolled high school student in his third year pursuing a bachelor’s in Computer Science. In 2015, he joined the Machine Perception and Cognitive Robotics Laboratory to engage closely with machine learning algorithms, computer vision, and high-performance computing. During his first semester of research with the MPCR lab, his team worked on a reinforcement learning approach to solving a simple “rover-in-a-box” task using a Theano-based implementation of Google DeepMind’s Deep Q-Learning algorithm as well as computer vision techniques for state-space reduction.

    More recently, he has been working on his own research with self-driving autonomous rovers, and is currently the team leader for the Autonomous Rover Team. Working with various data manipulation techniques, data collection, and different neural network architectures. his team is working to provide better autonomous driving results in many different environments. For future research, his team intends to instill a mental state of curiosity and saliency into a rover, using neural networks, dictionary learning, feature mapping, LCA, and sparse modeling.

  • Stephen Hoover

    Undergraduate Researcher, Assistant Lab Manager

    Stephen Hoover joined the lab during the Summer of 2017 as an undergraduate student studying behavioral neuroscience and mathematics. Stephen came to Florida Atlantic University from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania and began researching machine olfaction systems using deep learning artificial neural networks in the Fall of 2017. He is the president of  FAU’s Psychology Club and an Officer for the Council for Scholarship and Inquiry – a student organization under FAU’s Office for Undergraduate Research and Inquiry. His current projects focus on developing network architectures that mimic fundamental functions of biological organisms by integrating and contextualizing information from multiple sensory streams  (e.g. olfaction, vision, proprioception & autonomous movement, etc).

  • Pablo Adell

    Pablo Adell is a Computer Engineering student coming into his junior year.Pablo is really curious about how technology can help people to improve their life quality and even their lifestyles. Pablo likes to experiment with a lot of new languages and technologies in order to get the most finest final product. Also he is very passionate and committed with his community always looking for new ways to help it.

  • Nicolas Tutuianu

    Undergraduate Researcher, Rover & Animus

    Nicolas Tutuianu is an undergraduate dual-enrolled high school student in his third year pursuing a Bachelor’s in Computer Science at FAU.  In 2015, Nicolas joined the Machine Perception and Cognitive Robotics Laboratory to conduct research projects while implementing various machine learning techniques.  As part of a group of 5 undergraduate students, his team implemented a Q-Learning based rover framework that simulates the way a real-life brain would learn to solve a simple task.  More recently, Nicolas has been working with deep neural networks to build an open source machine learning training platform that allows toy cars to drive autonomously.  He is also Co-Team Leader of the Animus Team who are currently working with 3D cameras to recognize various types of exercise movements.


  • Kelsey Wilson

    Kelsey Wilson graduated from West Virginia University in 2012 with a B.S in Biological Science as well as a B.S in Psychology. Kelsey’s undergraduate research focused on the area’s of behavioral neuroscience and environmental microbiology. In 2014, Kelsey became a graduate student at Florida Atlantic University pursuing her Master’s Degree in Biological Science with research focused on Methionine Sulfoxide Reductase family of enzymes studying epimerization of Methionine Sulfoxide in a biological system. Kelsey is also a graduate teaching assistant for molecular genetics, microbiology, and biotechnology. In 2016, Kelsey joined the Machine Perception and Cognitive Robotics Laboratory to explore it’s wide variety of applications in the biomedical sciences.

  • Evan Clark

    Evan Clark is a graduate student researching the biochemical regulatory network of human T cells through the utilization of high-throughput RNA sequencing and downstream genomic analysis. He is currently focused on understanding changes in splicing patterns and gene expression modulated by selected RNA binding proteins in virally infected cells. He is currently aiming for a career in personalized medicine and translational biomedical research, with specialization in immunology and biomedical informatics. He has earned a Bachelors of Science in Biology from Florida Atlantic Universities’ College of Science, and will be graduating with a Masters of Science in Bioengineering from the College of Engineering in Fall 2016. He plans to obtain both and M.D. and Ph.D. to conduct translational clinical research in immunotherapy and biological big-data mining.

    The future of medicine is dependent on the comprehension and unity of medical records and functional genomic data. As we begin to evolve our understanding of the complex biological mechanisms that drive disease development and virulence, the current backbone of biomedical data is rapidly becoming obsolete. We have reached a turning point with the implementation of multi-omics testing in clinical data that will drive how patient treatment is decided. In order to utilize this data to its highest potential, new methods must be enacted to understand and mine the data for its functional relationships to disease and patient outcome. Using machine learning techniques and relational data mining strategies we can begin to decipher the relations between biological research data and clinical data to develop new treatment methods to improve patient outcomes and design new targeted therapeutics for prevention and treatment of disease.

  • Levi Stein

    High School Researcher (Katz Yeshiva High School)
  • Michal Amar

    High School Researcher

    Michal Amar is a high school senior at Katz Yeshiva High School of South Florida, where she leads multiple STEM related clubs including the STEAM Club and Girls Who Code. She is project manager of the KYHS VEX Robotics Team, which won first place in their first competition, and has also participated in the CIJE Engineering Conference every year, designing and coding new and innovative ideas. Alongside this, she and her team won first place in the International Technion Rube Goldberg Competition run by the Technion Institute of Technology in Israel. She hopes to study Mechanical and/or Aerospace Engineering and to pursue a career in research and development. She joined the MPCR Lab in May of 2017. Her primary research consists of a Deep Learning program to detect biomedical measures through optical inputs.


  • Marcus McGuire


    Marcus McGuire is a dual enrollment student from FAU High School. He has spent the last two years studying computer science full time at FAU. His research interests include Machine Learning and Computer Vision. Following the completion of his bachelor’s degree, He intends to pursue a graduate degree in one, or both, of these topics.