Research Statement

My primary interest is to bring machine learning to high-dimensional complex robots, in particular, humanoid robots. This research has two major goals: (a) to make robot control autonoumous, i.e., to develop algorithms which take the 'smart human' out of the design-and-test loop. (b) The second goal is to understand how human learning of motor control can be understood by evaluating human motor control algorithms and underlying cost functions.

Educational Background

2001-nowPh.D. in Computer Science
 University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
2004-2005M.Sc. in Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering (Dynamics & Control)
 University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
2001-2002M.Sc. in Computer Science[download]
 University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
1996-2001Diplom-Ingenieur (German M.Eng. in Electrical Engineering)[download]
 Munich University of Technology, Munich, Germany
2000-2001Visiting graduate student
 National University of Singapore, Singapore
1996-2000Diplom-Informatiker (German M.Sc. in Computer Science)[download]
 Hagen University, Hagen, Germany

Research

2001-nowResearch Assistant
 University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
2003Visiting Researcher
 Department of Humanoid Robotics, Advanced Telecommunication Research Center ATR, Kyoto, Japan
2001Visiting Researcher
 National University of Singapore, Singapore
2000Visiting Researcher
 Cyberhuman Project, Advanced Telecommunication Research Center ATR, Kyoto, Japan
2000Student Researcher
 Institute of Automatic Control Engineering, Munich University of Technology, Munich, Germany
1998-2000Student Researcher
 Institute of Robotics and Systemdynamics of the German Aerospace Research Institute DLR, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

Teaching

2004Teaching Assistant, Graduate course: CS 545 Robotics
 University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
2003Teaching Assistant, Graduate course: CS 545 Robotics
 University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
1997-1998Teaching Assistant, Undergraduate course: Informatik Praktikum
 Lehrstuhl fuer Datenverarbeitung, Munich University of Technology, Munich, Germany

Industrial Experience

2000Internship at Siemens Advanced Engineering Ltd.
 Singapore
1998Internship at Siemens AG
 Munich, Germany
1997Internship at Siemens AG
 Munich, Germany
1996Internship at Germanischer Lloyd AG
 Hamburg, Germany
1992-1993Software Development for Noelting Gmbh
 Hamburg, Germany
1992Internship at Philips Consumer Electronics Gmbh
 Hamburg, Germany

Workshop and Competition Organization

6/2005Learning for Locomotion Workshop
 Organizing it together with my co-organizers Russ Tedrake and Stefan Schaal at the Robotics 2005 conference link].
2005-nowLegged Robot Control Competition
 Part of the organization committee headed by Russ Tedrake ].

Invited talks

6/11/2005Invited talk Learning Motor Primitives with Reinforcement Learning at the RSS 2005 Workshop on Modular Foundations for Control and Perception
6/9/2005Invited talk Learning Motor Primitives with Reinforcement Learning at the The Seung Lab, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
5/23/2005Invited plenary lecture Motor Skills Learning for Humanoid Robots at the First Undergraduate Computer Sciences and Informations Sciences (CS/IS) conference.
10/22/2004Workshop presentation Learning Motor Primitives with Reinforcement Learning at the AAAI Workshop on Real Life Reinforcement Learning.
3/9/2004Invited talk Reinforcement Learning: neurobiology and methodology guest lecture for CS 499 Exotic Computation invited by M. Arbib.
12/13/2003Workshop presentation Learning Control and Planning from the View of Control Theory and Imitation with S.Schaal at NIPS Workshop on Planning for the Real World: The promises and challenges of dealing with uncertainty.
12/12/2003Workshop presentation Recurrent neural networks from learning attractor dynamics with S.Schaal at NIPS Workshop on RNNaissance: Recurrent Neural Networks.
10/5/2003Invited talk Reinforcement Learning for Humanoid Robotics at German Aerospace Research Center (DLR).
7/28/2003Invited talk Natural Actor-Critic at Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST)
7/17/2003Invited talk Natural Actor-Critic at the Advanced Telecommunications Research Center (ATR)

Oral Conference Presentations

10/5/2005Conference presentation Natural Actor-Critic at 16th European Conference on Machine Learning.
9/26/2005Conference presentation A new methodology for robot controller design at ASME IDECT 5th International Conference on Multibody Systems, Nonlinear Dynamics, and Control (ASME MSNDC).
8/5/2005Conference presentation A Unifying Framework for the Control of Robotic Systems at IEEE/RSJ Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS).
10/2/2003Conference presentation Reinforcement Learning for Humanoid Robotics at IEEE International Conference on Humanoid Robotics.
12/6/2000Conference presentation A Real Time Model of the Human Knee for a Virtual Orthopaedic Trainer at International Conference on Biomedical Engineering

Awards and Honors

2001-2004University of Southern California Stipend, accepted.
2001-2002Carnegie Mellon University Fellowship, declined.
2000-2002Siemens Student Scholarship (SSP)
2000-2001Munich University of Technology's Singapore Scholarship
1994-1995Finalist in the 14. Bundeswettbewerb Informatik (German National Computer Science Competition)
1993-1994Finalist & St. Augustin Award in the 13. Bundeswettbewerb Informatik (German National Computer Science Competition)

Program Committee

2006International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML)
2005Robotics: Science & Systems (RSS)

Reviewing

2005IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, Mathematical Problems in Engineering, International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), International Conference on Robotic Systems (IROS), Autonomous Robots
2004International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), International Conference on Robotic Systems (IROS), IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation
2002IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation
2001IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, Journal of Neurophysiology
2000International Journal of Applied Intelligence

References, Publications, etc.

References are available upon request, for publications please see the publications tab, and for coursework see here.

  

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