Jeff Cooper

Extracurricular Activities

When I wasn't doing schoolwork, and sometimes when I should be doing schoolwork, these are some of the things that I spent my time doing.

Carnegie Mellon Robotics Club

I accepted my offer to Carnegie Mellon because of my love for robots. It makes sense, then, that the first student organization I joined when I got there was The Carnegie Mellon Robotics Club, affectionately known as Roboclub.

In my time in Roboclub, I was an active member on the Colony project, which aims to create a relatively low-cost robotic swarm and use to solve tasks cooperatively, the Quadrotor project, which builds and programs flying robots, and the Roborchestra project, which is devoted to building a band of self-playing robotic instruments.

From Fall 2011 to Spring 2014, I was an instructor for the Student-Taught Course 98-012: Fun with Robots, which is the longest-running course in the StuCo program's history -- narrowly beating out ice skating. Each semester, we gave approximately thirty students a chance to play with robots for a few hours a week for credit, while teaching them the basics of sensing, control, and programming. The course is graciously funded by the Robotics Institute, which means that students can keep their robot kits to experiment with on their own after the course is done.

I was elected as an officer in the Robotics Club in the 2011-2012 school year, and was elected to serve as one of two Presidents for both the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years.


In November of 2011, a friend invited me to a meeting. The meeting was a few students who were trying to create an API to make all of CMU's data easy to use so that student developers could write applications that made CMU a better place. A few meetings later, I was asked to be the Chief Operations Officer of the group (a title which would later change to Director of Operations), and at that same meeting, we christened the group "ScottyLabs".

Since then, ScottyLabs has become a force on CMU's campus as a technical resource organization, providing both services and events to better the lives of student hackers, designers, and anyone with an idea. Each year, we ran TartanHacks, one of the biggest hackathons on CMU's campus. We also actively worked on the APIs@CMU, helped to run MakeCMU, and hosted a myriad of other events each year.

Personally, I was the head hacker on the Print@ScottyLabs project, which allows anyone with an email address to print on the campus printers via email -- from their computer, smartphone, or anything else that can send emails. I was also one of the developers on the APIs@CMU project, and was a representative for ScottyLabs at the Campus Data Summit in summer 2013. I served as the Director of Operations until my term expired in 2014 (my senior year).

Carnegie Mellon Emergency Medical Service

I like helping people. I had a basic understanding of first aid from my experiences as a Scout, so when I found out that CMU had an all-student, volunteer Emergency Medical Service, I applied. I figured it would be useful to brush up on my first aid skills and I needed a hobby. I got all that and more -- I was accepted in the Spring of 2012 and became hooked almost instantly. CMU EMS provides 24/7 coverage of the University's campus and off-campus buildings, and responds to every medical emergency including sports injuries, illness, accidents, and even students who have had a bit too much to drink.

I attained the rank of Medical Member, which requires demonstrating proficiency in medical skills, call progression, and on-scene leadership, at the end of the Fall 2012 semester. I served a brief stint as the External Training Director in the Spring of 2013 after a special election, and was elected to serve as the organization's Executive Director for the 2013-2014 academic year. As Executive Director, I devoted a good deal of time to identifying problems in the organization's structure and rules, and working with other members to find solutions. Along with my Operations Manager, I co-authored a new set of bylaws for the organization, which were officially adopted in April 2014, when I transitioned from Executive Director to the analogous position, Chief. Upon graduation, I was elected to the Board of Advisors.

I was certified as a Pennsylvania EMT in May of 2013.

CMU All-University Orchestra

I started playing the cello recreationally in fourth grade and have played ever since. I played for three years in the Langley High School Orchestra and served as the president of the Tri-M music honor society in my senior year. When I got to CMU, I joined the All-University Orchestra, an audition-free ensemble that puts on a free concert each semester for CMU and the Pittsburgh community. I was elected as Webmaster for the 2011-2012 academic year, and re-elected twice for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 seasons.

W3VC Amateur Radio Club

I was an active member of W3VC, the Carnegie Tech Radio Club. One of CMU's oldest student organizations, W3VC is a small but active community of ham radio operators who provide an outlet for students, faculty, staff, and alumni who have an interest in radio, in addition to providing emergency communications services for the CMU community.

One of W3VC's primary functions on campus is to provide a safety communications net for CMU Buggy free-rolls and races. This net is a formal, directed net, and I can often be found operating as Net Control or at any of the positions around the course. I served as the liaison between W3VC and Sweepstakes, the organization in charge of Buggy, from 2013 - 2014.

I also served as one of six Net Control Operators for the 2013 Pittsburgh Marathon. My callsign is KI4LGI, and I have been licensed since 2005.

SCS / Robotics Tour Guide

I love CMU and have really enjoyed my time as a student in the School of Computer Science. To share this passion, I volunteered to lead tours of the CS Undergraduate Department for prospective and incoming students during my sophomore, junior, and senior years. I often extended these tours to include various Robotics opportunities on campus.