Justin Pearson is a graduate student in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He studied mechanical engineering at UCSB and Stanford University, emphasizing control systems.
For four years after graduation he worked on autonomous airplanes at AeroVironment. He designed and implemented control algorithms for the Global Observer aircraft: a giant high-altitude long-endurance prototype spyplane powered by liquid hydrogen. He deployed to Edwards Air Force Base for the aircraft's 15-month flight-test campaign. Afterward, he transferred to AeroVironment's Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems division, where he programmed guidance and navigation algorithms for hand-launched short-range military reconnaissance drones. (See Industry.)
In 2012, Justin returned to UCSB to pursue a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and is advised by Professor João Hespanha in the Center for Control, Dynamical Systems and Computation. His research interests include information theory, optimization, and control and estimation over limited-bandwidth channels. (See Research.)
He is passionate about teaching and communicating clearly: he earned UCSB's Certificate in College and University Teaching, a certificate program for teaching-oriented graduate students. This required studying pedagogy, designing and running educational outreach programs, and planning and teaching a course as Instructor of Record. (See Teaching.)