Matthew Walter

Matthew Walter

Assistant Professor & Director of the Robot Intelligence through Perception Laboratory (RIPL)
I am an assistant professor and director of the Robot Intelligence through Perception Laboratory (RIPL) at the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (TTI-Chicago), a philanthropically endowed academic computer science institute located on the University of Chicago campus. Prior to joining TTI-Chicago, I was a research scientist working with Seth Teller in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). I received my PhD from the Joint Program between MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, under the supervision of John Leonard. My thesis considered the problem of scaling robotic mapping and localization to larger unknown environments. I studied feature-based algorithms for simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) whereby a robot builds a map of the world while concurrently estimating its position in the map. My thesis work proposed a sparse information filter algorithm that is scalable and also preserves estimate consistency. The approach maintains a Gaussian probability distribution over the robot and map states, and takes advantage of insights into the natural structure of this model for SLAM. The Exactly Sparse Extended Information Filter (ESEIF) exploits a sparse parametrization of this distribution to reduce the computational and memory costs from quadratic to linear in the map's size. In addition to the gains in efficiency, a primary contribution of the algorithm is its ability to achieve sparsity in a principled, yet simple way that preserves consistency. For more information, please see the IJRR paper or my thesis.

Toyota Technological Institute

Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (TTIC or the Institute) is an accredited computer science institute, dedicated to basic research and graduate education in computer science. Its mission is to achieve international impact through world-class research and education in fundamental computer science and information technology. The Institute is distinctive to the American educational scene in its unique combination of graduate education and endowed research. TTIC is located in Hyde Park on the University of Chicago campus and has a close affiliation with the University of Chicago Computer Science Department. An agreement between the University of Chicago and TTIC allows cross-listing of computer science course offerings between the two institutions, providing students from each institution the opportunity to register in the other's courses. Faculty and students enjoy full privileges of the University library system, athletic facilities and other services.

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