Florida Tech School of Computing Undergrad Turns Research Assistant

As a kid, he and his dad loved to take stuff apart and put it back together. What started with small things around the house, eventually became big things here on the Florida Tech campus.

Anthony Alves, a recent computer science graduate, didn’t have to travel far to make big leaps in his career. Originally from Lakeland, Fla., he chose Florida Tech for its location.

“It’s surrounded by the big companies,” Alves said. “Plus it’s close to home and the beach, and the computer science department is excellent.”

Though classes like Mobile App Development, Network Programming and Databases helped him tremendously as an undergrad, the research programs allowed him to put that knowledge to the test.

Alves was able to jump into several research projects as an undergrad. He primarily worked on a train project, testing network communications, task allocation, path finding and collision avoidance. Basically, figuring out how to better avoid accidents and find ways to ultimately make trains self-sufficient.

“My contribution to the project was to create an Android application that communicated with the train set,” Alves said. “The app is able to control the speed and direction of the trains and control the state of the track layout.”

Due to Alves and his team members, we may one day have an autonomous train system.

He also had an internship with the Air Force Research Lab in Dayton, Ohio, where he learned more about networking and app development.

This past summer, he applied to the Harris Institute for Assured Information, a center within the School of Computing that focuses on research aimed at solving computer safety issues. He became an Undergraduate Research Assistant and after only a few weeks, was hired as a full-time RA after graduation.

Now Alves not only supports research projects centered around cyber security, but he also assists and coordinates undergraduates and graduate students working on several different projects.

“One of the great things about being an RA at FIT is I still get to work with my friends from school,” Alves said, “and I work with software that will be used in the real world.”

With his two brothers entering their junior year at Florida Tech, Alves has no plans to move elsewhere. In fact, he’s continuing his computer science studies in the School of Computing graduate program.

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