Much like Trenton State College turned into the College of New Jersey, the annual computer festival hosted at the college last year shed its “Trenton Computer Festival” name to become — simply — TCF. What’s unchanged is the festival’s focus on cutting-edge computer technology.
This year, the theme of the conference is autonomous vehicles. The TCF will take place Saturday, March 18, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The College of New Jersey. It will feature talks, workshops, vendors, and a banquet. Tickets are $12. For more information, visit tcf.pages.tcnj.edu.
There will be an indoor flea market, a vendor fair, and more than 50 talks, workshops, tutorials, demos, and other events including short courses on object-oriented programming, a Microsoft presentation and workshop on safe computing, drone and quadcopter demos, a talk by David Soll on Windows 10, demos of historic computers, wearable technology, games, and home controls. For aspiring makers and hackers, there are hands-on workshops, tutorials, and projects for Arduino and Raspberry Pi, and even a course on ham radios.
If anyone knows the topic of autonomous vehicles, it’s the keynote speaker at this year’s TCF, Carnegie Mellon engineering professor Ragunathan “Raj” Rajkumar, who has spent the last decade working on self-driving cars. He is director of the university’s Technologies for Safe and Efficient Transportation lab, and co-director of both the General Motors Carnegie Mellon Vehicular Information Technology Collaborative Research Lab and the GM-CM Autonomous Driving Collaborative research lab, as well as the director of the Real-Time and Multimedia Systems Laboratory. He is the founder of Ottomatika, a company that created software for self-driving cars, and which was acquired by Delphi.
In 2007 Rajkumar helped lead Carnegie Mellon’s team to victory in the DARPA Urban Challenge, a defense department competition for autonomous vehicles in cities. In 2013 he took lawmakers around Washington in a self-driving Cadillac.
As a researcher, his work spans cyber-physical systems including self-driving cars and wireless sensor networks. His work has been incorporated into many commercial operating systems. Rajkumar is a graduate of the University of Madras and earned his doctorate at Carnegie Mellon. He has three patents, and more than 160 publications.
Also speaking at the event will be Greg Olsen, the founder of Sensors Unlimited and GHO Ventures who famously became a space tourist in 2005. Olsen’s talk, titled “A Tale of Two Teslas,” will detail his experience driving the all-electric luxury car, which has an “autopilot” mode that is mostly self-driving, but which requires human intervention in certain scenarios.