Student-organized ICON conference showcases outstanding research

The conference offered students the chance to present research and network.
Keynote speaker

Presentation session co-chair Qian Shi (AAE), center, introduces the second keynote speaker, Kira Barton, associate professor of mechanical engineering and robotics at the University of Michigan.

The Inaugural ICON Student Research Conference offered students the chance to present research on autonomous and connected systems and to network with faculty members and keynote speakers to explore new research avenues and interdisciplinary partnerships.

“This student-run conference with showcases of outstanding research reflects very well ICON’s mission of integrating research and education,” said ICON co-director Shaoshuai Mou, associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics.

The conference, held in February at Purdue University and sponsored by the Institute for Control, Optimization and Networks (ICON), was comprised of two sessions, featuring distinguished academics as keynote speakers. In the morning, R. Srikant, the Fredrick G. and Elizabeth H. Nearing Endowed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois, delivered a thought-provoking presentation on an algorithm for crowdsourcing human-labeled data, followed by student presenters showcasing topics ranging from statistical modeling to optimization.

During lunch, attendees had the opportunity to participate in a poster session that featured presenters from across the College of Engineering.

In the afternoon, Kira Barton, associate professor of mechanical engineering and robotics from the University of Michigan, presented methods for using machine learning to optimize additive manufacturing systems, followed by student presentations on the application of controls engineering to both aquatic and land-based autonomous vehicles.

From left: Conference organizers Madeleine Yuh (ME), Jianqi Ruan (ME), Humphrey Leung (ECE), Brooks Butler (ECE), and Qian Shi (AAE). Center: Keynote speaker Barton.

The conference provided a valuable platform for graduate and undergraduate engineering students to gain insights from distinguished academics and network with peers, thereby facilitating exposure to some of the latest developments in the field.

The student organizing committee is grateful for financial support from the IEEE Control Systems Society (CSS) Outreach Fund and ICON, which made the conference possible. Given the success of the inaugural conference, the student organizers hope to make it an annual, student-led event that will provide a platform for students across the college and university to showcase the impressive work being done in the fields of control, optimization and networks at Purdue.

“This was an outstanding initiative showcasing ICON’s incredible students and the research that they are conducting,” said Shreyas Sundaram, the Marie Gordon Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and co-director of ICON. “I commend the organizers for their leadership and look forward to the conference becoming a long-running tradition within ICON at Purdue.”

The conference, co-chaired by ECE doctoral students Humphrey Leung and Brooks Butler, was entirely organized by graduate students within ICON across the College of Engineering and is an excellent example of cross-disciplinary collaboration. The rest of the organizing committee was composed of Qian Shi (AAE), Ian Walter (ECE), Madeleine Yuh (ME) and Jianqi Ruan (ME).

“It was exciting to see the students construct this inaugural event from the ground up,” said assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering Philip E. Paré, who served as the faculty advisor for the event. “It was my pleasure to advise and support the students as needed, and I am eager to see how the conference grows over the years.”

poster session
During lunch, attendees had an opportunity to participate in a poster session.