James McLurkin, an expert in robotics technologies, will speak at a UCF public forum Thursday, Sept. 11. His presentation, “The End of the World and Other Misconceptions: The Truth about Robotics,” will be at 3 p.m. in the Cape Florida Ballroom of the Student Union. The event is free and open to the public.

McLurkin uses nature as a model to research, create and program swarms of autonomous robots. His research focuses on developing distributed algorithms for multi-robot systems, software that produces complex group behaviors from the interactions of many simple robots.

McLurkin reassures that, “distributed algorithms can be fun when you explain them with robots.” Part of the presentation includes a demonstration from a robot swarm he will bring with him.

McLurkin is an assistant professor in computer science at Rice University. With degrees from M.I.T. and Berkeley, McLurkin was named one of America’s top five engineers in TIME magazine’s “Rise of the Machines” feature, and was also included in Black Enterprise magazine’s “Best and Brightest Under 40.”

The event, organized by the UCF Global Perspectives Office, is part of the 2014-2015 programming theme, “Shaping a World in Transition: The Power of Imagination, Inspiration and Innovation.” More information can be found at http://ucfglobalperspectives.org/.