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Faculty Profile: David Fisher Likes Exploring ‘Really Neat Things’
June 19, 2014
David Fisher likes technology, learning something new, and telling people about “really neat things.” That made him ideal to return to his alma mater to teach, explore, and expand the curriculum to meet future technological challenges.
“At Rose-Hulman, there are a lot of people willing to listen,” says the associate professor of mechanical engineering. “This is an environment that I belong in. I’m able to teach about the things that are my hobby. I have similar interests with my students. I see a lot of myself in them, because I was once in their shoes.”
Following a sabbatical at Google and multiple summers as a consultant at Apple Inc., Fisher has brought smartphone application technology to the classroom, teaching courses in iPhone and Android technology development. He also co-directs Rose-Hulman’s growing robotics minor academic program, teaching a robotics engineering course this spring. Students learned aspects of Arduino (microcontroller platform), Android programming, kinematics (working robotic arm), GPS, physical sensors, other technology along with having the final competition–over the course of 10 weeks.
One of Fisher’s current projects is to teach high school robotics online with a program he calls Rosebotics. The site will provide freely available course content.
As a Rose-Hulman student, Fisher joined residence hall friends in developing an “I Hate ‘Star Wars’” spoof website to mark the debut of The Phantom Menace trilogy movie. The site showcased how technology depicted in the “Star Wars” series was great movie “magic,” but unrealistic or improbable. Last summer, Fisher joined Rose-Hulman faculty colleagues in explaining the science behind “Star Wars” technology as part of the Indiana State Museum’s “Science Nights” program.
I get really excited about the new tools I learn while in industry, and I can't wait to share that knowledge with students. I know they'll love this stuff.
DAVID FISHER, PhD
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor’s Degree, Mechanical Engineering, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 2000
Master’s Degree, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 2001
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering (Biomedical Division), Stanford University, 2005
Areas of Specialization: Robotics, Microcontrollers, Mobile Device Design and Development, and Manufacturing and Machining
Industrial Experience: Google, Google TV Project Engineer, 2011-12; Apple Inc., iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch Accessories Department
Courses Taught: Robotics Engineering, Mechatronic Systems, iOS Development Robotics Senior Capstone Design; Web Development-Google Closure Frameworks, Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing, and Study of Web Frameworks