Graduate Joseph Casale ready to return to Malaysia as a Fulbright awardee

The computational mathematics and computer science graduate will build on previous research from his undergraduate experience


RIT computational mathematics and computer science graduate Joseph Casale will be returning to Malaysia to work in machine learning as a Fulbright scholar.

Joseph Casale ’24 (computational mathematics and computer science) had hardly been on a plane when he traveled to Malaysia to do research a year ago. Now, he gets the opportunity to do it again.

Casale, who is from Rochester, N.Y., is one of RIT’s record-setting six 2024 Fulbright U.S. awardees. He will be traveling back to Malaysia after previously going there with Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science professor Tony Vodacek to work with the Universiti Teknologi Mara.

On his previous trip to Malaysia, Casale was part of a group of students who spent time in the Taman Negara National Park. The research team was looking to quantify biodiversity in the rainforest with audio processing. Casale’s future project will be analyzing aerial hyperspectral imagery to map the species of trees.

“The great thing about doing machine learning is it allows you to be a scientist and allows you to work with plenty of different people across all different types of fields,” said Casale. “Being able to go to Malaysia with Dr. Vodacek directly formed the connections that led to this project.”

Casale originally wanted to study aerospace engineering and began his academic career at Monroe Community College, but then realized he was more interested in pure analytical mathematics. When he transferred to RIT, his interest in machine learning and optimization started him on the path to earning the prestigious international experience that a Fulbright Scholarship brings.

Having the opportunity to travel around the world as a RIT student has broadened Casale’s interests and has shown him the possibilities that are available through academia. Earning a Fulbright scholarship serves to enhance what he has already experienced.

“Before I left for Malaysia, I didn’t really see the potential of becoming an international researcher,” said Casale. “But there is room for people to do that, it is something that can be achieved with a little bit of luck.”

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