As part of the Illinois State University Spring Speaker Series, educator James McLurkin will present Dances with Robots: The Story of One Engineer, 112 Little Robots, and the Toys, Insects, and Star Wars Movies that Made it all Possible on Thursday, April 14, at 7 p.m. in the Bone Student Center Brown Ballroom. A book signing will follow the presentation.

McLurkin is an assistant professor at Rice University in the Department of Computer Science. His research focuses on developing distributed algorithms for multi-robot systems, which is software that produces complex group behaviors from the interactions of many simple individuals. McLurkin was the 2003 recipient of the Lemelson-MIT student prize for invention. He holds a S.B. in electrical engineering with a minor in mechanical engineering from MIT, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a S.M. and Ph.D. in computer science from MIT.