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Tucker Hermans

Title: Associate Professor
College: Engineering
School / Department: School of Computing
Mentoring Philosophy:

I'm an associate professor in the School of Computing at the University of Utah, where I am affiliated with the University of Utah Robotics Center and direct the Utah Learning Lab for Manipulation Autonomy.

My research focuses on autonomous learning, planning, and perception for robot manipulation. I am particularly interested in enabling robots to autonomously discover and manipulate objects with which they have no previous knowledge or experience.

Since joining Utah I have received several awards including the NSF CAREER Award in 2019, the 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award in 2019, and a Sloan Fellowship in 2021. With my students and collaborators we have won the CoRL 2019 Best Systems Paper Award, the ICRA 2017 Best Medical Robotics Paper Award, and was finalist for the ICRA 2019 Best Manipulation Paper Award and a finalist for the Best Paper and Best Student Paper awards at ISMR 2021.

Previously I was a postdoctoral researcher in the Intelligent Autonomous Systems lab at TU Darmstadt in Darmstadt, Germany. There I worked with Jan Peters on tactile manipulation and robot learning, while serving as the team leader at TUDa for the European Commission project TACMAN.

I was at Georgia Tech from 2009 to 2014 in the School of Interactive Computing. There I earned my PhD in Robotics under the supervision of Aaron Bobick and Jim Rehg in the Computational Perception Laboratory. My dissertation research dealt with robots learning to discover and manipulate previously unknown objects. The learning was performed on a Willow Garage PR2 robot, which performed pushing tasks using visual feedback control. At Georgia Tech I also earned an MSc in Computer Science with specialization in Computational Perception and Robotics.

I earned my bachelors from Bowdoin College, where I double-majored in Computer Science and German. At Bowdoin I was a member and team captain of the Northern Bites SPL RoboCup team. We were world champions in 2007, placed third in 2008, and were runner-up in 2009. I additionally developed computer forensics software for the Maine State Police.