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Willie M

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics


Hello my name is Willie McClinton, I’m passionate about Artificial Intelligence (AI) especially AI that makes life easier for me in the real world. I’m currently studying how we can use AI and robotics to solve everyday tasks like cleaning, cooking, and moving things around so humans don’t have to. Even though I enjoy making our lives easier through AI and robotics, I also love the idea of making intelligent things that could do more than I could ever do like systems that can beat me at Chess or Video Games or do my Homework for me. When I’m not building robots I enjoy playing basketball and soccer with friends, and training for the next Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition. I also read, but mostly non-fiction like popular science books or even textbooks. Lastly, I really enjoy understanding how the world works through economics and how large projects and companies get funded through finance. I’m looking forward to learning more about you.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Training an Artificial Intelligence to Play Your Favorite Game with Deep Reinforcement Learning

Have you ever wanted a friend to play your favorite game with or had a really hard game you wanted to beat? In this project we will make an Bot that can play a game using some modern AI techniques (specifically Deep Learning and Deep Reinforcement Learning).

Plant Cyborgs: Using Robotics to Give Freedom to your Plants.

Have you ever felt sorry for your plant? Or didn't have enough time to take care of it? In this project we are going to create a robot body for your house plant (using Embedded Systems like Arduino and Raspberry Pi), so it can walk around and take care of itself. If you are looking for even more of a challenge, I imagine we can do this with a goldfish instead :)

Coding skills

Python, C++, Javascript, MATLAB, and Bash

Teaching experience

I have tutored subjects like Math and Chemistry for the National Society of Black Engineers during my undergrad, mentored at-risk elementary students for Family Services of RI in Providence for an Americorps program, and have taught robotics to elementary and middle school kids for an after school program at Metropolitan Ministries in Tampa, FL.


Work experience

Google (2020 - 2021)


University of South Florida
BS Bachelor of Science (2020)
Computer Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Computer Science

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