Notes for JAMES FLAVIL (TURTLE) MONTGOMERY II:|
After graduating from South Haven High School in 1982, Jim attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He received a B.S. in computer science in 1986. While at the U. of M. he also played trombone in the Michigan Marching Band (MMB). During his five seasons in the band, the football team played bowl games (in chronological order) at the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Holiday Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Rose Bowl. The MMB went along to play at each bowl game.
Upon graduation Jim moved to Los Angelos to work for Hughes Aircraft Company as a software engineer beginning in February 1987. In 1990, he decided to go back to school to get an advanced degree. He received a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Southern California in May 1992. While working on his Master's he became involved in autonomous mobile robotics research. As part of this research, he helped build an autonomous flying robot, using a model radio controlled helicopter as a platform. He eventually became the team lead of the project and leads the team to this date (July 1999). After getting his Masters, he decided to continue on and get a Ph.D with an emphasis on giving the flying robot the capability to learn how to fly by mimicking a human pilot that was capable of already flying the helicopter. Jim recently completed his Ph.D in May 1999. During his studies, the team he led developed an autonomous robotic helicopter that was capable of operating completely free of human aid. The team took first place at the 1994 International Aerial Robotics Competition held in Atlanta, competing against teams from other universities. The team has also been featured on CNN and the Discovery Channel. Currently the team is funded under a DARPA (Defense Advance Research Projects Agency) contract to develop control methodologies for groups of interacting mobile robots. Jim remains working at USC as a contractor. At the end of 1997, Raytheon purchased the part of Hughes that Jim worked at and so now he is a Raytheon employee. Upon graduation, Jim returned to Raytheon full time.
His life-long dream is to one day live and work in outer space. As part of this dream he would like to build robots to help humans explore and colonize space.