Edwin Olson joined the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra in 2011 and has served as concertmaster since 2013. Prior to that, he was concertmaster of the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra in Massachusetts and played with the MIT Symphony Orchestra. In addition to orchestral work, he can occasionally be seen performing chamber music. Mr. Olson began playing at age five, and has played continuously ever since. He plays a violin by Ann Arbor maker Joseph Curtin.
Mr. Olson earned a PhD in computer science and electrical engineering from MIT in 2008 for his work on building large maps using robots. He joined the computer science department at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2008, and is a member of UM’s robotics department. With his students, his lab has studied and published in many areas of robotics, including mapping, planning, machine perception, and human interfaces. He has worked extensively on autonomous cars, first at MIT during the DARPA Urban Challenge, followed by U-M, Ford, and Toyota Research Institute.
In 2017, Mr. Olson founded May Mobility, an Ann Arbor self-driving car startup where he serves as the chief executive officer. May Mobility’s vision is to make cities more beautiful, accessible, and equitable by creating new transit options that reduce the need for personal car ownership. Mr. Olson lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, son, and daughter– all violinists.