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Matt Boutell Gets Fulbright Scholar Award to Teach & Expand International Experiences

July 8, 2011

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology computer science professor Matt Boutell will spend the 2011-12 academic year expanding his teaching and international educational experiences through the Fulbright Scholarship program at Copperbelt University in Zambia.

   Matt Boutell

 Matt Boutell

This opportunity is part of Rose-Hulman's educational initiative to expand international experiences for students and faculty members.  He is the 13th Rose-Hulman professor to be named a Fulbright Scholar.

Boutell will join approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals in travelling abroad in 2011-12 to increase mutual understanding between people of America and the people of other countries.  It is the flagship international educational program sponsored by the U.S. government.

"My biggest interest in this international teaching experience is to become involved and immersed in another country's culture," said Boutell.  He sought a Fulbright Scholarship after learning the experiences of Rose-Hulman colleague David Mutchler as a scholar in 2000-01 at Mauritius, an island off the southeast coast of Africa.

At Copperbelt University, Boutell will teach advanced courses in image recognition, cryptography and Android development, which will culminate in directed study projects.  He will assist faculty to improve lecture skills and curriculum development, along with assisting in applied research in software development.  He also hopes to open educational outreach projects between Rose-Hulman and Copperbelt.

"Mentoring students in mobile phone development could have an additional economic benefit for the people of Zambia," stated Boutell.  "If a student writes a single application that is published either in the iPhone App Store or the Android Market, it can easily bring in revenues of $200-$300 in U.S. dollars per month.  This would make a difference for a Zambian entrepreneur.  While software development can theoretically be done anywhere, mentoring Zambians to develop software can only be done in Zambia."

Love Of Teaching: Matt Boutell, associate professor of computer science, is passionate about teaching Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology students about knowledge he has gained on software development.  He has also been a leader for starting the college's robotics initiative.


Copperbelt University, one of three public universities in Zambia, has approximately 5,100 students and 207 faculty members.  The college is located in Kitwe, Zambia, and was established in 1987 by the government to educate residents in business, technology and environmental sciences.

A former high-school computer science teacher, Boutell is passionate about teaching what he has learned about software development.  His image recognition course at Rose-Hulman is based on topics learned as a researcher at Eastman Kodak Company and at the University of Rochester, where he completed his doctorate degree in 2005.  More recently, he has learned the fundamentals of cryptography and mechatronics, and regularly teaches courses on these topics as well.  His technical research interests include multimedia content understanding, computer vision, machine learning, image databases and pattern recognition.  He is also interested in expanding robotics education and computer science education.

"My application was certainly stronger because of work I've done with other Rose-Hulman computer science faculty," said Boutell.  "The Fulbright Scholar offers a great opportunity for me and my family.  Hopefully, it will also pave the way for greater educational options for Rose-Hulman students through international projects or study-abroad programs."

Boutell will join his wife, Leah, and their five children in leaving the U.S. in September.  They are planning to stay in Zambia through July, 2012.