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Dr. Michael Walters


Associate Professor of Physics

Portrait of Mike WaltersDr. Mike Walters poses with students in the robotics club and a robot they built

After eight years in industry as an optical engineer, I returned to academia and my roots as a physicist. Working in industry allowed me to see how the knowledge learned in college is applied. It also enabled me to give my students insights into what they might see once their college days are done.

Recently I have been focusing more on robotics and their use in the home and education. There are few undergraduate programs that focus on robotics, so I am proud that I am part of a team that brought a robotics major to SUNY Plattsburgh. We emphasize small scale robotics, but focus students on the fundamentals they need to succeed in academic careers as well as in the future workforce. I hope to give students the skills they need to be leaders in the industry.

My research focuses on robotics, instrumentation, and measurement. Current research topics range from creating deep learning A.I. in real world environments to using small robots as a teaching implement. Deep learning A.I’s are typically trained in simulations where they can iterate or learn quickly. Small robots allow students to explore different STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) principles as a more hands on experience.

I also work with students to tailor research opportunities to their interests. I am currently working with a student in creating inexpensive physics demos that can inspire middle and high school students to study in STEM fields.

Education

  • Ph.D. in Physics, Clarkson University, 2003
  • M.S. in Physics, Clarkson University, 1999
  • B.S. in Physics, Utica College of Syracuse University, 1992

Teaching Areas

  • Robotics
  • Engineering
  • Optics
  • Introductory physics
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