Three Math Degrees Plus One Knight Equals Infinite Opportunities
After earning three degrees from the UCF Mathematics Department, Robert Muise, Ph.D., ’88, ’90, ’03, continues to maintain strong ties to his alma mater.
Most recently, Dr. Muise was honored as the UCF Mathematics Department’s 2016 College of Sciences Outstanding AlumKnight at an award reception this spring. Dr. Muise’s former Ph.D. adviser, Ram Mohapatra, Ph.D., presented Dr. Muise his award on behalf of the department.
After earning his bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in mathematics from UCF, Dr. Muise went on to build a successful career as a mathematician in the Signal and Image Processing Branch Department of the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Panama City, FL. In 1998, Dr. Muise returned to Orlando to work with Lockheed Martin, and earn his Ph.D. in math from UCF. Today Dr. Muise has more than 26 years of professional industrial and research experience.
Dr. Muise currently serves as a senior staff engineer in the applied research department for Lockheed Martin – Missile & Fire Control, where he’s worked since 1998. He also has served as an adjunct professor for the Department of Mathematics at UCF for both undergraduate and graduate level courses since 2003. Dr. Muise looks forward to continue teaching for the Mathematics Department in the future.
“Interacting and giving advice to students during these activities is something I enjoy and intend to continue participating with,” explained Dr. Muise.
Dr. Muise holds several patents, is a seasoned published author, and has given countless symposium presentations and lectures in his field. Some of his professional activities include being a member of the Industry Advisory Board for the UCF Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, a visiting research scholar for Duke University’s Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, an active member of the Imaging Science Activity group in the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
The UCF Mathematics Department and the College of Sciences are pleased to recognize Dr. Muise as an Outstanding AlumKnight based on these professional and notable achievements.
Dr. Muise discussed his time at UCF, his career, and his advice to students in his spotlight responses below.
How has your UCF degree helped you in your career?
All of my graduate work at UCF was done in conjunction with my career activities. My job at the Naval Research Lab involved research activities in applied mathematics, signal processing, and parameter estimation. Finding the right faculty in the UCF Mathematics Department to supervise the master’s research was relatively straightforward as there were several faculty members willing to work with my supervisor at work to mentor me in this endeavor. While pursuing my Ph.D., the partnership between my Lockheed Martin supervisors and the UCF mathematics faculty couldn’t have gone better and I was able to finish my Ph.D. efforts in 2003. Lockheed is very supportive of their employees pursuing advanced degrees. These partnerships meant that my career work was directly supported by my graduate studies at UCF.
What is your best UCF memory?
Wow! UCF has been an integral part of my entire adult life so there are so many memories. My wife and I graduated together with our bachelor’s degrees in 1988. My graduations for my master’s and doctoral degrees certainly stand out. Many of my family from New England made the trip to Florida to attend and celebrate my PhD degree with me. My daughter graduated UCF recently and has just begun her career. My son has also attended UCF and my wife and I have gone to watch him perform with the Crescendudes at the free speech lawn quite often. Seeing the growth of the campus since I first got there in 1981 has been fun; everything east of the library was woods back then. I recall attending a UCF homecoming concert with my wife in the 80s. Back then the homecoming concerts were held in the citrus bowl; we lost the football game, but got to hear the beach boys give a great concert.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
My career work for the Navy and currently at Lockheed Martin has been research-based work. Thus, I’m really an academic at heart. During my years at Lockheed Martin there has consistently been very interesting research topics to address. Exploring new ideas and seeing them come to a conclusion is rewarding. The interplay between my regular job functions and the academic community is what I enjoy most. I have gotten to collaborate with some of the leaders in academia on research projects.
What is your most memorable experience on the job?
I have to say that my most memorable activities on the job involve travel. I enjoy going to new places and seeing different parts of the world. During my time as a civilian researcher for the Navy, I was asked to help support a project demonstration in Newfoundland for 2 months. The time away from family was hard, but it was certainly memorable. With Lockheed Martin, I have been to several technical conferences (as a presenter and sometimes an event organizers). The most interesting venue thus far was in Zurich Switzerland for the 2007 ICIAM conference. This time I brought my wife and we were able to see many of the sights while attending the conference.
What piece of advice would you give to current students as well as UCF alumni?
Never give up on your goals and objectives. I started my academic career in 1981 and I wasn’t finished until 2003. I encountered many roadblocks and difficulties along the way, some of my own making and some just random difficulties. There were many times, when giving up and settling for what I had already accomplished crossed my mind. But I kept going and finally earned my PhD in 2003; so it took me over 20 years.
Dr. Muise shared some more responses in our 30-second “get-to-know-you” portion of the spotlight.
Who is your favorite musician/band?
I enjoy classic rock, but don’t really have a favorite. Aerosmith, led zeppelin, CCR, Eagles, Rush, journey, etc., (in no particular order).
What or who inspires you?
As a Christian, I try to make sure Jesus Christ is my daily inspiration. As a father, my own Dad is my inspiration. As a professional, I’ve been able to collaborate with people who have reached the top of their profession.
What is your favorite holiday (and why)?
Christmas is family time and it is just a time of year that is filled with Joy, relaxation, and fellowship with loved ones.