Undergraduate Research and Creativity Alumni Profiles 

Jon Battison, B.S. ’17

M.S. Student, University at Buffalo
Major(s): Electrical Engineering Technology, Computer Information Systems

What research or work have you done since graduating from Buffalo State?

I am finshing my first year as a master's student in computer-science engineering at UB. I’m currently on a research team working to develop aerial drone automation techniques. I plan on working as a research assistant this summer.

Can you translate your work for the general public?

I am developing an algorithm that is capable of navigating teams of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) to achieve particular search objectives without the need of human intervention. This requires planning for imperfect communications between the vehicles, as well as streaming solutions for search heuristics. For example, vehicle encounters an obstacle, it should be able to communicate this fact. Other vehicles will then be able to respond and as a network adjust their planning accordingly. It's  quite challenging, especially considering fully-dynamic network topology, but I've always been very interested in path planning.

Why did you decide to get involved in undergraduate research?

I can't think of a reason why I wouldn't get involved in undergraduate research! I've always had a love of learning and greatly appreciate the fact that Buffalo State has given me so many opportunities to expand my knowledge. When I was told of the undergraduate research I sought out this opportunity to continue my strategy of learning from every angle. I would push every student into undergraduate research if I could because it will provide them with an opportunity to peruse something in their education that is uniquely theirs.

How did your undergraduate research experience influence your career path?

I can say unequivocally that my research project has helped me directly in my graduate coursework and current research. I gained a valuable understanding of the use of microprocessors, register transfer level (RTL) operations, software development for hardware applications, and hardware design—to name just a few useful insights. I also learned much from working closely with a mentor and meeting project goals, which helpful in graduate school and will be as a future professional.

Describe the research you did and if you presented it at any professional conference, juried art exhibit, or other off-campus location.

My research project was titled “Computer Optimized Board Analysis Instrumentation Network (COBAIN)”. The research and development involved the design and construction of a software-driven virtual lab instrument set for electronics prototyping and analysis. My mentor and I (and later my senior design team) were motivated to develop the system because instrumentation for this type of learning can be expensive, and an educational environment with a lack of these resources doesn’t produce the desired outcomes. Thus, the final product was intended for primary educators, secondary educators, college students, and hobbyists. The goal was that, on a relatively small budget, they can acquire the requisite components and build one on their own. The final iteration of the project was presented at Buffalo States' Student Research and Creativity Conference and the ASEE St. Lawrence Section Conference at the University at Buffalo.

Undergraudate Research Mentor: Dr. Stephanie Goldberg