The Traveling Robot Petting Zoo
Sharon Small
Siena College
March 15, 2013 (Fri)
Olin 107
Lunch will be served at noon.


Siena College recently launched a new initiative in robotics for upper level science majors. Five customized MiniMax robots have been built by faculty and students in the Computer Science department. Each of the five robots is equipped with a single programmable arm for object manipulation and an XBOX Kinect for vision. All mounted on an iCreate for navigation. They are controlled by an onboard Dell laptop running the Linux operating system. Students have been programming using Python in the ROS (Robotics Operating System) environment. The MiniMax robots will be travelling to Union College Friday, March 8th for an entirely hands on interactive session. You will have the opportunity to interact with and control the robots and learn a little bit about ROS as you do.

Sharon Gower Small received a B.S. in Computer Science from Siena College in 1989. Dr. Small received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from The State University of New York at Albany. Her main area of interest is in Computational Linguistics (CL). This stemmed from her research work at SUNY Albany where Dr. Small was the lead research scientist and third phase co-PI of the HITIQA project funded under the federal government’s AQUAINT program. The AQUAINT program (2001-2008) was a federally funded highly competitive program whose goal was to develop Advanced Question Answering tools for Intelligence Analysts. Prior to her Computational Linguistic work, Dr. Small had published research in high performance computing. Dr. Small's work has been funded by IARPA and the NSF. She is the author of numerous conference papers, journals articles and book chapters.

Dr. Small was previously CEO of Language Analytic Corporation (2007-2010), where she focused on CL work on various federal contracts as well as National Science Foundation, Small Business Innovation Research grants. She is currently the director of the Siena College Institute for Artificial Intelligence, the Innovation Lead for the Siena College Stack Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science department at Siena College in Loudonville, NY.

Please email Kristina Striegnitz ( if you have any questions concerning the seminar series or if you would like to receive the seminar announcements by email.