Michael Hirsch, Ph.D. is a research scientist, high performance computing and remote sensing consultant, and adjunct Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Professor Hirsch’s interest in teaching has led to over a decade of involvement mentoring engineering students in best principles for hardware/software design and system integration.
Most of my time is spent in research and consulting, particularly on remote sensing, covering optical, radar, GNSS, radio sensors and more. I work with all types of signal/video processing platforms from gumstick size single-board computers to Top 20 supercomputers. The main languages I use are C++, Fortran, and Python as well as C and Matlab, using OpenMPI, OpenCV, Scikit-Learn or whatever else is needed to get the job done efficiently.
My main work is on ionospheric studies, specifically the difficult problems untangling spatio-temporal observational ambiguity via high-speed cameras and radar sensors. These computer-aided discovery problems have general applications. A research internship can build and strengthen new career pathways.
I kicked off my engineering research career by building the very first coffee-can/tin-can radar with Greg Charvat, a successful entrepreneur, engineer and author. Before that, I worked as a consultant in the wireless industry (cellular and two-way radio), helping yield millions of dollars a year in spectrum trades, licensing and system design/deployment/upgrades. I guided agencies from federal and state law enforcement through county sheriff, fire and EMS as well as commercial entities. I designed and deployed one of the first wide-area commercial carrier WWAN broadband IP networks in the Midwest, with 50x faster speeds than the typical wired home Internet. This system also brought early carrier-grade VoIP systems to cash-strapped local agencies, saving them a bundle vs. hard-wired leased lines.
Those early days of my career included negotiating individual spectrum deals with ISET (formerly Industrie Canada–the Canadian FCC). I had to show modeling work and run coordinated tests on both sides of the border–over 100km away, for government agencies, sometimes getting a helping diplomatic hand from a representative or senator’s office. As an engineer, educator and researcher I see ever more the need to help keep policymakers and their offices informed–I act as a information resource to state and federal offices desiring expert guidance.
While the courses I teach may reach over 100 students in person, I have mentored dozens of undergraduate and graduate students in hands-on hardware, software and data analysis research, particularly involving remote sensing with radar and optical sensors.