Muratcan Cicek

A PhD Student at UCSC under Prof. Roberto Manduchi 


I am Muratcan Cicek, a self-motivated computer scientist.
I was born in 1993 at a small town in Turkey and I have actually stayed at that town until I have completed my secondary education there. Then, moved to Istanbul in 2013 for my higher education.

I have graduated from Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science at Ozyegin University, Turkey in Spring 2017. I have also studied two of my academic terms at Oregon State University, U.S. as an exchange student. For my senior year, I was awarded by Google Europe Scholarship for Students with Disabilities 2016 which a highly competitive and prestigious scholarship sponsored by Google.
After this achievement, I have also been hired for eBay and Turkcell concurrently to work part-time on their Big Data projects with my Machine Learning skills for the last one year.

Finally, I have been admitted to PhD program in Computer Engineering at UCSC for studying on Computer Vision and now I am part of Professor Roberto Manduchi’s Computer Vision Lab at UCSC.


I am actually very motivated to work on Artificial Intelligence since I was a child because I am disabled person and only able to do my daily activities with the help of technology. While the things are getting smarter everyday, I am also getting more independent and I deeply believe that the technology may make disabled persons like me independent as much as any other persons if it will be developed with the right purposes.

I am already using a lot of assistive technologies use AI to make my life easier and use my computer. But there is a better way to use artificial intelligence to improve the life of people with neurological disorders like me. With Neurotechnology, modern AIs may decode and encode the neural signals from brain and we can bypass damaged areas of neural systems with help of virtual circuits. This futuristic technology could even defeat the most chronic disabilities like Paralysis and Cerebral Palsy.   

Since there was no serious business on Neurotechnology in my home country, I have had no opportunity to experience working on the exact field above and had to build a slightly different background. I have still taken several Machine Learning and Computer Vision related courses during my Bachelor’s Degree and I was able to improve at least my Machine Learning skills by working as a data engineer in Turkey to keep myself in the field of Artificial Intelligence. During that period, I have also used the big data frameworks a lot to integrate ML solutions to the company's current system. After this experience, I see myself able to complete any big data related tasks since I already have a solid background on this field.

In this year, I have been admitted to PhD program in Computer Engineering at UCSC for studying on Computer Vision. My program has just started and currently, I have an individual study under Prof. Roberto Manduchi's advising on tracking person's gaze-point from the consecutive frames that contains his/her head-poses by using LTSM. I am also planning to take all necessary advanced AI courses to build a solid background on it.  

I believe that the final direction of my career must be on Neurotechnology to defeat the most chronic disabilities starting with mine!


unfortunately, I have no papers yet but here are some seminal papers in my current and previous research areas:

Restoring cortical control of functional movement in a human with quadriplegia

Chad E. Bouton, Ammar Shaikhouni, Nicholas V. Annetta, Marcia A. Bockbrader, David A. Friedenberg, Dylan M. Nielson, Gaurav Sharma, Per B. Sederberg, Bradley C. Glenn, W. Jerry Mysiw, Austin G. Morgan, Milind Deogaonkar & Ali R. Rezai

Nature 533, 247–250 (12 May 2016)

Long Short-Term Memory

 Sepp Hochreiter, Jürgen Schmidhuber

Neural Computation Volume 9 Issue 8, 1735-1780 (15 November 1997)

A Big Data Based Product Ranking Solution

Jinfeng Li, Bing Shao, Jian Xu, Hongliang Li, Qinghua Wang

Service Operations and Logistics, and Informatics (SOLI), 2016 IEEE International Conference on