Dr Alan Mutka assumes the position of the BSc Web and Mobile Computing program Area Head

 

We are proud to announce that our faculty member, Dr Alan Mutka, has assumed the position of the Web and Mobile Computing (WMC) program Area Head, as of August 1st. So, besides introducing his students to the 'IT world' and preparing them for the jobs of the future, Dr Mutka will assume additional responsibilities regarding the development of the WMC program and the departmental leadership.

 

Dr Mutka has immense knowledge and rich experience in both the public and private IT sector. He graduated from University of Zagreb's Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, wherefrom he joined the LARICS team (https://larics.fer.hr/larics) and started his career by working as a Research and Teaching Assistant. Once he completed his PhD, he worked in the private sector. „I was one of the co-founders of Cognitus d.o.o.", says Dr Mutka. „Together with my team, we developed 3D scanning solutions and CAD/CAM systems to be used in medical and related fields."

 

In 2016 he joined Bjelovar University of Applied Sciences as the Head of Department; his responsibilities included creating the Computer Science study program. Finally in 2019, he joined RIT Croatia as a Web and Mobile Computing faculty. „I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow WMC faculty member and colleague, Dr Kristina Marasović, for recognizing my efforts and being an advocate on my behalf to work as an Adjunct professor", said Dr Mutka.

 

Teching, technology and sports!

 

„In my classes, I try to encourage an environment of mutual respect between students, a positive atmosphere, and hard work. Also, it helps to have fast computers :)", says Dr Mutka. Being passionate about technology and programming, he is constantly developing new ways to to transfer that passion to our freshmen. His passion to teach developed while he was working as a Research and Teaching Assistant at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing. „We were constantly working on multiple research and industrial projects and simultaneously had a teaching load as a part of our PhD requirements. I enjoyed working with those students and realized I would love to keep doing it in the future. The rest is history."

 

He sees RIT's Web and Mobile Computing program is a great start for someone who wants to propel in the IT sector, and emphasizes a key aspect of the learning process: „The program offers an outstanding and rare balance between lectures (learning), co-ops (employing gained skills in the real world - gaining career experience in the best industrial companies in the field), and students' life." The culmination of the program happens in the final year where „senior students from RIT's global campuses collaborate to complete a project that addresses a real-world industrial challenge, as a part of their senior development project."

 

His other passion is, of course - technology. „In 1990, I got my first computer (Intel 80286 25MHz, 2MB of RAM). I remember the computer had a "Turbo" button, which reduced the CPU frequency in half. So when I was playing Tetris, after reaching level 7, I switched off the turbo to slow down the game.  Thanks to my father, I was constantly surrounded by computers, electronics, and programming, and for as long as I can remember, I never wanted to do anything else."

 

Finally, when he is not immersed into the IT world, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, leading an active lifestyle. „That is correct", said Dr Mutka. „I am an avid sportsman - particularly tennis, cycling, hiking, and fishing."

 

Research at the intersection of IT and healthcare industry

 

As a true researcher, he is intrinsically motivated to create and learn through new experiences, and is currently exploring IT solutions for complex challenges in the healthcare industry. „For the last two years, I have been developing a solution to measure leg length discrepancy (LLD). LLD is an orthopedic condition that involves a difference in length between the lower extremities. It is a significant medical problem, and the causes vary from trauma, diseases, and deformities of the locomotor system to prior surgical procedures, growth disorders, and neurological illness. As a part of the Cognitus team, we have created a prototype funded by the EU project (EitHealth Innovation Call 2019) to measure LLD. Currently, we are completing the prototype testing phase in collaboration with medical institutions in Croatia and Slovenia."

 

He is currently working on a software solution for academic integrity and learning validation called AssessMe, and takes pride in collaborating with a colleague from RIT Croatia, Dr Martin Žagar, and a company Bitmedix on a project which integrates high-resolution stereo depth camera with medical imaging systems with ‘in the air’ real control of surgeon’s hands. The project is called  3D Virtual Navigation with 'In the Air' Real Control of Surgeon's Hands. The prototype is in the testing phase, and the group is looking for new funding opportunities. 

 


 




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