Luke Burks

Luke is currently in the final stages of pursuing a Ph.D in Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder, expecting to graduate in Spring 2020. He studies under Dr. Nisar Ahmed, in the Cooperative Human-Robot Intelligence (COHRINT) lab. He obtained his B.S in Physics at the University of Arkansas in 2015.

The Latest: Job Hunting

Personal Summary

Physics

During his undergraduate years, Luke explored many ideas in physics. These included peer-reviewed research in Astronomy investigating Binary Star systems, work at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) at Caltech, and exploration of High Pressure Liquid-to-Glass transitions. These introduced him to control theory, which when pursued sparked his interest in optimal control of human-robot systems.

Personal

When not working, Luke enjoys reading, creative writing, video games, and distance running. One of these days he'll probably get around to writing a novel, but until then you're more likely to find him enjoying one of Boulder's scenic hiking trails or tinkering with his latest home project.

Research

Luke's research focuses on Autonomous Decision Making in Collaborative Human-Robot systems. In particular, he is interested in formal integrated planning and sensing strategies. Humans and robots each have advantages and disadvantages, and the key to effective progress in robotics lies in allowing the two to work together as a team to bring their respective strengths to the fore.

Programming

In addition to programming required for research purposes, Luke engages in a variety of personally motivated programming projects, often exploring statistical and mathematical modeling techniques and their applications to novel practical problems. Luke natively speaks Python, but is fluent in C++, Java, and Matlab, as well as being conversant in several others.

Background

Education and Experience

Education

2015 - Current
University of Colorado Boulder

Ph.D in Aerospace Engineering Sciences

  • Controls and Autonomous Systems Track

2011 - 2015
University of Arkansas

Physics B.S

  • Graduated with Honors
  • Minor in Computer Science and Mathematics

Experience

2015 - Current
University of Colorado Boulder

Graduate Research Assistant

  • Research focusing on formal integrated planning and perception strategies for cooperative human-robot information gathering
  • Supervision of an undergraduate hardware integration team
  • Ph.D Advisor: Dr. Nisar Ahmed

Fall 2015
University of Colorado Boulder Aerospace Department

Graduate Teaching Assistant (TA)

  • Taught junior level Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer
  • Conducted interactive labs on subjects ranging from basic engine cycles to satellite radiator design
  • Held weekly office hours offering one-on-one supplementary assistance with homeworks and projects

2014 - 2015
University of Arkansas Physics Department

Senior Undergraduate Research Assistant

  • Conducted research on High Pressure Liquid-to-Glass phase transitions using diamond anvil cell presses and laser spectroscopy
  • Integrated hardware/software interfaces for allowing the use of legacy equipment with modern computers
  • Advised by: Dr. William Oliver

Summer 2013
Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)

NSF Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow

  • Developed a model of optical responses for gravitational-wave strain sensing
  • Advised by: Dr. Alan Weinstein and Dr. Jameson Rollins

2012 - 2013
University of Arkansas Physics Department

Undergraduate Research Assistant

  • Preformed analysis of photometric data for the triple star system HP Aurigae
  • Published results in The Astrophyiscal Journal
  • Advised by: Dr. Claud H. Sandberg Lacy

Programming Languages

Fluent Python, C++, Java, Matlab

Conversant Julia, Mathematica, R, Simulink, Labview

Basic Javascript, PHP, HTML

Invited Seminars, Guest Lectures, Research Talks

November 2019
Adelphi, MD

Army Research Lab

Invited Seminar

March 2019
Boulder, CO

CU Boulder, Aerospace Department

Guest Lecturer in "Probabilistic Algorithms for Aerospace Autonomy"

March 2019
Houston, TX

Technology Collaboration Center

Invited session talk for the Automation, AI, and Robotics Workshop

May 2017
Boulder, CO

Boulder Startup Week

Invited Session Talk

April 2017
Boulder, CO

CU Boulder, Aerospace Department

Guest Lecturer for "Algorithms for Aerospace Autonomy"

Portfolio

Projects, Ideas, and Publications
Human Augmented Robotic Planning and Sensing (HARPS)

Human Augmented Robotic Planning and Sensing (HARPS)

Autonomy
image

Fully Bayesian Human-Machine Data Fusion for Robust Online Dynamic Target Characterization

Autonomy, Human-Robot Interaction, Journal, Submitted
Optimal Continuous State POMDP Planning with Semantic Observations: A Variational Approach

Optimal Continuous State POMDP Planning with Semantic Observations: A Variational Approach

Autonomy, Journal, Published
Active Semantic Sensing and Planning for Human-Robot Collaboration Uncertain Environments

Active Semantic Sensing and Planning for Human-Robot Collaboration Uncertain Environments

Autonomy, Conference, Submitted
Collaborative Semantic Data Fusion with Dynamically Observable Decision Processes

Collaborative Semantic Data Fusion with Dynamically Observable Decision Processes

Autonomy, Conference, Human-Robot Interaction, Published
CUAS Ratings Analytics

CUAS Ratings Analytics

Personal
Fully Bayesian Human-Machine Data Fusion for Robust Dynamic Target Surveillance and Characterization

Fully Bayesian Human-Machine Data Fusion for Robust Dynamic Target Surveillance and Characterization

Autonomy, Conference, Human-Robot Interaction, Published
Closed-loop Bayesian Semantic Data Fusion for Collaborative Human-Autonomy Target Search

Closed-loop Bayesian Semantic Data Fusion for Collaborative Human-Autonomy Target Search

Autonomy, Conference, Human-Robot Interaction, Published
Optimal Continuous State POMDP Planning with Semantic Observations

Optimal Continuous State POMDP Planning with Semantic Observations

Autonomy, Conference, Published
Collaborative Human-Autonomy Semantic Sensing and Structured Planning with POMDPs

Collaborative Human-Autonomy Semantic Sensing and Structured Planning with POMDPs

Autonomy, Human-Robot Interaction, In Preparation, Journal
Absolute Properties of the Triple Star HP Aurigae

Absolute Properties of the Triple Star HP Aurigae

Astronomy, Journal, Published
Unique Isoform CDNA Orthogonalization Network

Unique Isoform CDNA Orthogonalization Network

Personal
Space Colony Recessive Genetics

Space Colony Recessive Genetics

Personal
Galton-Watson Tree Visualization

Galton-Watson Tree Visualization

Personal
Easy POMDP Library

Easy POMDP Library

Personal
Wiki Depth

Wiki Depth

Personal
Turing Stripes

Turing Stripes

Personal

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