SAS Student Researcher Spotlight: Martin LaPierre, Jr.

SAS Student Researcher Spotlight: Martin LaPierre, Jr.

This week's spotlight is two-part, and features a doctoral student and dissertation chair. View the other spotlight to learn about the second half of this awesome team!


Martin, or Marty, LaPierre, Jr. is a current student of the Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership program within the School of Advanced Studies. He was nominated for the researcher spotlight along with his chair, Dr. Dale Crowe, for their recent efforts in artificial intelligence researcher.

To date, LaPierre has earned a Master of Science in Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence at DePaul University in Chicago, as well as an MBA from National University in La Jolla, California. He is expected to complete the DM program in June 2018. He is also a retired Marine Corps Colonel.

LaPierre currently works as an IT consultant. His day-to-day experiences helped to inspire his research as he became determined to understand why Artificial Intelligence was not very well thought of in the Marine Corps and its benefits mostly ignored. His current research project is focused on distance learning using Artificial Augmented/Artificial Intelligence. Along with Dr. Crowe, and CEITR Chair Dr. Mansureh Kebritchi, he was recently published on the topic in TechTrends.

View his profile here on the Research Hub >>

We asked him a few questions about his experience as a student researcher. His answers are below.

What is the biggest lesson you learned from your doctoral journey?

The most important lesson I have learned is that you need to set time aside every day, without exception, for research and reflection on your chosen topic of interest. Otherwise you will not gain the insight you need to be able to contribute original ideas to the body of human knowledge.

What enhancements have you seen in your leadership capabilities?

I tend to be more reflective on a subject before I take action. I can say my decisions are more complete and better communicated to others then they were previously.

How has your doctoral experience changed your personal/professional life? 

Others depend on me more to write out plans and to pick the best courses of action in professional circumstances. This has allowed me to become more successful in every organization I work with. It has brought my abilities to the attention of many more potential clients.

Have you connected with a Research Center to work on active projects?

I have; the University of Phoenix Augmented/Artificial Intelligence Research Lab in the Center for Educational and Instructional Technology.

What do you think the long term implications will be for the project results?

I think many more students will be home-schooled as this AI-based distance learning provides new and exciting ways to ensure that students learn via electronic media.

What was the defining moment that led to your decision to pursue this research?

I, like most, struggle to write in a scholarly manner. During my year one residency, I was trying to get help with my writing but could not find any instructor to provide it. The residency was one of the biggest one’s ever held at the university with so many more students than instructors it was impossible for them to work with all of us on an individual basis. I thought to myself that there should be some sort of computer tutorial that could provide the help I required. A few months after my residency I saw that IBM's Watson had beat human players at the game of Jeopardy. Having a master’s of science degree in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence I immediately saw that Watson had the potential to teach scholarly writing. I pitched the idea to Dr. Dale Crowe, my dissertation chair and mentor, and he liked the idea so much that he wanted to pursue it with me and that is how we began this journey. I think it must be said that the journey is only beginning. Dr. Crowe, Dr. Mansureh Kebritchi, and I plan to explore the concepts contained in the article much further.

What’s next for you after graduation?

I plan to build the AI-based machines that have figured so prominently in my research. I have already started a company that I will use as the vehicle to achieve my goals.

What advice would you give to a prospective or current SAS doctoral student?

Decide quickly what you want to write about in your dissertation. Then dive into dissertations, technical papers, and popular media connected with your area of interest. The more you do that, the more the goals of your dissertation will take shape in your mind.

Thank you, Marty, for choosing University of Phoenix to pursue your doctoral degree and for your ongoing contributions to Artificial Intelligence research, and the greater research community.

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