Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Fred Martin's longtime goal has been to transform science education, based on the concept that science is rigorous not "orderly. He is a champion of K-12 science education using robotics as a platform to encourage creative scientific investigation by students and teachers.
He demonstrates to students and teachers how robotics can be used as an entry point to other scientific disciplines, bringing enthusiasm and creativity to a critical academic area.
Martin, who co-founded the undergraduate MIT robot design contest in 1989, which helped ignite the current boom in robotics design contests, developed Botball at UMass Lowell, in partnership with fellow Computer Science Professor Holly Yanco. Botball is a series of competitions among high school teams' robots. They also established Botfest, an exhibition of student-designed interactive robots that do everything from playing tic-tac-toe to making and serving tea.
In the fall of 2006, Martin received a $600,000, five-year CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation. He has also served as an instructor at Design Camp and taught an after-school enrichment program in robotics for 5th- and 6th-graders at the Bartlett Community Partnership School.