Vincenzo Macri

Vincenzo Macri

Degree Program

Computer Engineering and Computer Science

What is your major and anticipated graduation date?

I am enrolled in two programs, a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.S. in Computer Engineering, both of which I am slated to graduate in May 2023. I am also working towards my Master's in Artificial Intelligence through the one-year master's program FAU offers, which I will graduate from in May 2024.

What research are you performing, and what is unique about it?

I started my research in the Machine Perception and Cognitive Robotics Lab in the summer of 2018. I created mixed reality applications for the Magic Leap One device to explore how mixed reality could be used for educational purposes. I then worked towards creating hyper-realistic avatars for virtual spaces. I delved into the many use cases of these avatars, such as general chatbots, customer service workers, and retirement home assistants. In my current work at the Rubin and Cindy Gruber Sandbox, I have shifted my focus towards creating virtual simulations to visualize real-world data analytics in the metaverse.

How does the Rubin and Cindy Gruber Sandbox impact your research?

The Sandbox provides me with the space and hardware required for my research. Additionally, as an open lab, the Sandbox is a great place to bounce ideas off like-minded researchers and learn from others. My favorite thing about the space is the collaborative open-lab environment which nurtures divergent thinking and creativity. Having so many different researchers constantly passing through and working in the lab, there is always something interesting to learn and new topics to explore collectively.

What skills or knowledge did you acquire while working in the Rubin and Cindy Gruber Sandbox?

During my time at the Machine Perception and Cognitive Robotics Lab and, more specifically, the Rubin and Cindy Gruber Sandbox, I have accelerated my machine learning knowledge from practically nothing to an in-depth understanding of numerous state-of-the-art techniques such as Deep Neural Networks, Convolutional Neural Networks, and Generative Adversarial Networks. My programming skills have also developed dramatically since I joined the lab, especially in Python, where I now find common computer vision and machine learning libraries such as OpenCV, Numpy, Tensorflow, and Pytorch to be intuitive and natural.

What do you enjoy about being a student researcher?

I enjoy the freedom being a student researcher gives me to learn and explore things that I find interesting rather than spending my time researching required topics for a class or homework assignment that I might not be as engaged in.

In the shoes of a student researcher, I am constantly on the edge of the current state-of-the-art technologies.

Why should students take advantage of the Rubin and Cindy Gruber Sandbox?

It is clear to me that artificial intelligence will be an integral part of nearly every industry within the next decade. I think it is in everyone's best interest to learn at least the basics of current machine-learning technology. With that being said, there is no better way to start learning about artificial intelligence than to visit the [Rubin and Cindy Gruber] Sandbox and explore some of the current work and future projects students can get involved in.