Dr. Joseph Roth graduated from GVSU in December, 2010 with a B.S. in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics. After working briefly at a Grand Rapids software consultancy, Atomic Object, Joseph headed off to graduate school in the fall of 2011 at Michigan State University, where he earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science. At MSU, Joseph worked with Dr. Xiaoming Liu in the Computer Vision Lab.
Joseph’s research involved a number of interesting problems, including but not limited to: reconstructing a 3D model of a face based on a collection of photos, ballistics identification of handguns based on the breech face impression on the cartridge case, tracking a trailer coupler for automatic hitching of trucks, and recognizing people based on hair. His research allowed him the opportunity to collaborate with General Motors and the Michigan State Police. As a graduate student, Joseph was able to attend multiple conferences where he met top researchers in his field. His research and dedication to the field is noted in his recent receiving of MSU’s Fitch Beach Award, the top award across engineering graduate programs at MSU.
Currently, Joseph is working as a Software Engineer for Google’s Machine Perception Group in Pittsburgh. Joseph’s work at Google could be described as applied research, and contributions made by his group include Info Cards for Google Play Movies, Trusted Face for Android and the Mobile Vision API for Android.
Reflecting on his days as a student at GVSU, Dr. Roth indicated that professors’ interest and availability to students was very helpful. He feels that “…GVSU [CIS] professors are deeply invested in their undergraduate students. Undergraduates at larger research universities don’t always get that kind of attention, as their professors are often preoccupied with their research and graduate students. I am incredibly thankful for the encouragement and instruction I received from [CIS] professors Engelsma, Trefftz, McGuire and Wolffe.”
Joseph also gives credit to his paid research position in the GVSU Mobile Applications and Services Lab, “I was able to get some research experience, and an opportunity to apply what I was learning in my undergraduate CS courses.”
Dr. Roth also noted that his involvement in ACM’s programming competitions as an undergraduate was key in helping him prepare for the daunting technical interviews at larger technical companies.
Dr. Roth encourages current GVSU CS students to spend time with their professors, “Take advantage of their office hours, get to know them. Sharing your interests and aspirations in computing and seeking out their advice can only benefit your time here.” He feels it was his connections with his professors at GVSU that led him to his first programming job at Atomic Object, and eventually, his decision to pursue a Ph.D.