Robin Y. Flatland

Professor of Computer Science

Phone: (518) 782‑6541
Email: flatland@siena.edu

Robin Y. Flatland

Degrees:

Ph.D. Computer Science Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
M.S. Computer Science Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
B.S. Computer Science Birmingham-Southern College

Bio:

Dr. Flatland earned her Ph.D. in computer science in 1997 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her B.S. in computer science in 1990 from Birmingham-Southern College. She has been a faculty member in the Computer Science Department at Siena College for 16 years, served as the department head for four years, and currently is the Science Internship Coordinator. Her research is in the area of computational geometry, focusing primarily on algorithmic problems related to wireless communication networks, unfolding, and robotics. She also does research on computer science pedagogy and recently team taught a course to math education majors on how to teach AP computer science.

What I love about Siena:

I love teaching at Siena because the students are enthusiastic and creative and class sizes are small so I get to know them very well.

My Favorite courses to teach are:

It is hard to choose favorite classes because I like teaching all computer science courses, but one of my top favorites is our upper level course on computer graphics. I like this course because the student projects are visually exciting and allow for lots of creativity. The course culminates with a final project in which the students create their own 3D virtual world or game. This year some students even incorporated motion detecting cameras as input devices. We hosted a graphics show at the end of the semester during which our students demonstrated their projects for the Siena community and for thirty local high school CS students.

Professional Experience:

Professor, Computer Science Siena College 2009 - Now
Associate Prof., Computer Science Siena College 2003 - 2009
Consultant, Image Understanding GE CR&D 1998 - 1999
Assistant Prof., Computer Science Siena College 1997 - 2002
Graduate Instructor, Computer Science Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 1996 - 1997
Research Assistant, Computer Science Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 1994 - 1996
Graduate Teaching Assistant, Computer Science Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 1990 - 1994

Why I chose Siena:

When I was growing up my father taught physics at a small liberal arts college much like Siena, and I loved going to work with him. Then I did my undergraduate work at a similar type college and loved the small classes, the friendly atmosphere, and the caring and interesting faculty. So I always planned to teach at such a school, and I was lucky Siena had an opening in computer science the year I was looking for a job:-)

My current research:

My technical line of research is in the area of computational geometry with a focus on algorithmic problems related to wireless communication networks, unfolding, and robotics. I also do work in the area of computer science pedagogy with a focus on active learning and programs to increase the number of majors and underrepresented groups in computer science.

My teaching philosophy:

My classroom/lab teaching style is interactive and student centered, mixing traditional lecture with student activities that reinforce and extend the lecture material. These activities include such things as team problem solving, experimenting with software tools, simulating algorithms and concepts, class discussion, demonstrations, and leading sessions in which the students assist me in developing solutions to problems. I think that students learn best when they are actively involved in the material, and I enjoy the give-and-take of an interactive period.


Supporting CS10K: A New Computer Science Methods Course for Mathematics Education Students
Proceeding of the 46th ACM technical symposium on Computer science education
2015
Minimum Forcing Sets for Miura Folding Patterns
ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms
2015
Unfolding orthogonal polyhedra with quadratic refinement: The delta-unfolding algorithm
Graphs and Combinatorics, vol. 30
2014
Spanning Properties of Graphs Induced by Directional Antennas
Discrete Mathematics, Algorithms, and Applications, vol. 5
2013
Switching to directional antennas with constant increase in radius and hop distance
Algorithmica, vol. 56
2013
Coverage with k-Transmitters in the Presence of Obstacles
Journal of Combinatorial Optimization, vol. 25
2013
Efficient Reconfiguration of Lattice-Based Modular Robots
Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications, vol. 46
2013
Establishing strong connectivity using optimal radius half-disk antennas
Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications, vol. 46
2013
Unfolding Orthogrids with Constant Refinement
23rd Fall Workshop on Computational Geometry
2013
Algorithms for Collective Construction of 2D Block Structures with Holes
American Journal of Undergraduate Research, vol. 10
2011
Efficient Constant-Velocity Reconfiguration of Crystalline Robots
Robotica, vol. 29
2011
Establishing Strong Connectivity using Optimal Radius Half-Disk Antennas
Canadian Computational Geometry Conference
2011
Switching to Directional Antennas with Constant Increase in Radius and Hop Distance
Algorithms and Data Structures Symposium
2011
Spanning Properties of Graphs Induced by Directional Antennas
20th Fall Workshop on Computational Geometry
2010
Coverage with k-Transmitters in the Presence of Obstacles
4th International Conference on Combinatorial Optimization and Applications
2010
Shape Replication through Self-Assembly and RNase Enzymes
ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms
2010
Connecting Polygonizations via Stretches and Twangs
Theory of Computing Systems
2009
Linear Reconfiguration of Cube-Style Modular Robots
Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications
2009
Efficient Reconfiguration of Lattice Robots
European Conference on Mobile Robotics
2009
Using Modes of Inquiry and Engaging Problems to Link Computer Science and Mathematics
40th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
2009
Unfolding Manhattan Towers
Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications
2008
Grid Vertex-Unfolding Orthogonal Polyhedra
Discrete and Computational Geometry
2008
Realistic Reconfiguration of Crystalline (and Telecube) Robots
Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics
2008
Connecting polygonizations via stretches and twangs
Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science
2008
Epsilon-Unfolding Orthogonal Polyhedra
Graphs and Combinatorics
2007
A New Lower Bound on Guard Placement for Wireless Localization
Fall Workshop on Computational and Combinatorial Geometry
2007
Exploring the Polygonizations of a Point Set via Stretches and Twangs
Fall Workshop on Computational and Combinatorial Geometry
2007
Linear Reconfiguration of Cube-Style Modular Robots
International Symposium of Algorithms and Computation
2007
Vertex Pops and Popturns
Canadian Conference on Computational Geometry
2007
Curves in the Sand
Canadian Conference on Computational Geometry
2006
Grid Vertex-Unfolding Orthogonal Polyhedra
Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science
2006
Unfolding Well-Separated Orthotrees
Fall Workshop on Computational Geometry and Visualization
2005
Using Visualization Tools to Develop Geometric Reasoning Skills in a Computer Graphics Course
Journal of Computing in Small Colleges
2002
Extending Range Queries and Nearest Neighbors
Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications
2000
Using MINIX in the Closed Lab Environment
Journal of Computing in Small Colleges
1999
Geometric Constraints and Stereo Disparity Computation
International Journal of Computer Vision
1996
category: Other
Phi Beta Kappa, 2010
The McNaughton Prize is a prize awarded yearly by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to an outstanding, graduating Ph.D. student in computer science, through nomination by the computer science faculty
category: Research
McNaughton Prize Recipient, 1996
category: Research
GTE Graduate Fellowship Recipient, 1992
category: Research
Rensselaer Scholar and Doctoral Topper Awards, 1992
category: Research
Rensselaer Scholar and Doctoral Topper Awards, 1990