Torger Miller: Routing an Autonomous Car for Signal Strength

College of Wooster Student Spends Summer at the Controls of a Driverless Car

College students across the country have rounded the halfway point of the fall 2014 semester and settled in for the push to the finish. Thanks to a UA College of Engineering summer research program focused on driverless car technology, College of Wooster junior Torger Miller had a head start this semester expanding his skill set.

As part of a National Science Foundation program, Miller and seven other college students, working in teams of two or three, spent 10 weeks helping advance the University of Arizona’s CAT vehicle, or cognitive and autonomous test vehicle. 

The NSF program, Research Experiences for Undergraduates, or REU, provides opportunities for college students to work on exciting research projects with faculty mentors and graduate students at universities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. 

Miller, a computer science major, came into the program with some knowledge of cognitive radio systems and autonomous vehicles. He left with a broader understanding of both. 

“I didn’t fully understand the broad scope of cognitive radio applications, including the application I ended up working on,” said Miller, whose research involved using radio signal heat maps to better integrate wireless data systems with routing algorithms.
“By integrating heat maps of network signal strength with a routing algorithm, an optimal path can be determined with a measurable capacity,” he explained. 

University of Arizona electrical and computer engineering professor Jonathan Sprinkle, a recent NSF Career Award winner who led the 2014 University of Arizona REU program, said the projects not only taught undergraduates new skills, but also the experience introduced them to life as graduate students and researchers.


For more on the UA CAT vehicle program, visit

To learn about the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, visit

Associate professor Jonathan Sprinkle, University of Arizona College of Engineering

Torger Miller, College of Wooster