Faculty

Byron Boots

Byron Boots is the Amazon Professor of Machine Learning in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at the University of Washington where he directs the UW Robot Learning Laboratory. Byron is also a Principal Research Scientist in the Seattle Robotics Lab at NVIDIA Research, and is a co-chair of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Technical Committee on Robot Learning. He has received several awards including "Best Paper" Awards from ICML, AISTATS, RSS, and IJRR and is also the recipient of the RSS Early Career Award, the DARPA Young Faculty Award, the NSF CAREER Award, and the Outstanding Junior Faculty Research Award from the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. Byron received his PhD from the Machine Learning Department at Carnegie Mellon University.

Postdoctoral Scholars

Alexander "Sasha" Lambert

Sasha Lambert is a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Washington. His research focuses on machine learning and inference for perception and model predictive control. He received his Ph.D. and Master's degrees from Georgia Tech and his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University, Canada.

Guanya Shi

Guanya Shi is a postdoctoral scholar in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington working with Prof. Byron Boots. He is an incoming (Fall 2023) Assistant Professor in the Robotics Institute and the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). He completed his Ph.D. in 2022 from Caltech, and received a B.E. from Tsinghua University in 2017. He is broadly interested in the intersection of machine learning and control theory, spanning the entire spectrum from theory to real-world agile robotics. When not coding, he enjoys playing basketball and soccer, hiking and photography, and playing or watching MOBA video games.

Alex Spitzer

Alex Spitzer is a postdoctoral Research Scientist working with Byron Boots in the Robot Learning Lab at the University of Washington. He works on applying large-scale machine learning and simulation to "closed-loop" problems in order to improve robots' ability to perceive, navigate in, and manipulate the uncertain physical world. He received his PhD from Carnegie Mellon University, where he studied dynamical model learning, iterative learning, and control theory applied to agile quadrotor flight. Prior to that, he was at Cornell University leading the software team of CUAUV, an autonomous underwater vehicle team. Outside of research, you can find him on a soccer field or over a chess board.

Staff

Nathan Hatch

Nathan Hatch leads the software team for the UW RACER project and contributes to control and infrastructure code. Prior to RACER, he was a PhD student in the lab from 2017 to 2021. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Chicago in 2014 with a double major in mathematics and computer science.

PhD Students

Nolan Wagener

Nolan Wagener is a Robotics PhD student in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech, working with Byron Boots and Panagiotis Tsiotras (Georgia Tech). His research focuses on hierarchical reinforcement learning, safe reinforcement learning, and model predictive control, with the goal of an agent being able to interact with and learn from an environment with little to no risk of damaging itself. He was an NSF Graduate Fellow from 2015 to 2020 and recipient of Best Robotic Manipulation Paper Award at ICRA 2015 and Best Student Paper Award at RSS 2019.

Jacob Sacks

Jake Sacks is a PhD student in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington (UW), working with Dr. Byron Boots. His research centers around machine learning for time series, dynamical systems, and control. He moved to UW from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), where he was an Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) PhD student. He received his Masters degree in ECE from Georgia Tech and his Bachelors degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He was a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) fellow from 2015 to 2017. When not coding, he can be found playing guitar, biking, or playing an old Final Fantasy game from the golden era of video games.

Anqi Li

Anqi Li is a PhD student in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, working with professor Byron Boots. Her research aims to make robot learning safe and sample efficient. She moved to the University of Washington from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she was a Robotics PhD student. She received her Master's degree in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University and her Bachelor's degree in Automation from Zhejiang University, China. She was a recipient of the NVIDIA Graduate Fellowship in 2020.

Mohak Bhardwaj

Mohak Bhardwaj is a PhD student in the Robot Learning Lab at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering advised by Prof. Byron Boots. His research focuses on enabling scalable and efficient real-world robot learning with a specific focus on the intersection of reinforcement learning, model-predictive control and motion planning. Before moving to University of Washington, Mohak was a PhD Robotics student at Georgia Tech. Mohak received his MS in Robotic Systems Development from Carnegie Mellon University and Bachelor’s of Technology in Mechanical Engineering from IIT(BHU), Varanasi.

Sandesh Adhikary

Sandesh Adhikary is a PhD student in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering. His research has been focused on quantum-inspired probabilistic models for sequential data. In particular, he has worked on understanding how these models relate to models from classical machine learning in terms of expressiveness and learnability. Additionally, he has also been working with kernel-based sampling methods, particularly when applied to problems that require sampling over non-Euclidean Riemannian manifolds. He obtained his Bachelor's degree in Physics from Reed college, Portland, Oregon.

Adam Fishman

Adam Fishman is a fifth-year Computer Science PhD student in The Allen School at the University of Washington, where he is co-advised by Dieter Fox and Byron Boots. Currently, his research interests lie in end-to-end learning for closed-loop motion control in partially observable environments. Previously, he worked as a Computer Vision Engineer at Oculus VR. While there, he helped build the SLAM system for Oculus Quest. He likes to ride bikes, hike with his dog, and make pizza.

Yuxiang Yang

Yuxiang Yang is a PhD student in the CSE department, working with professor Byron Boots. His research aims to make robots actively perceive and interact with the external world, with a current focus on legged locomotion. Before UW, he received his Bachelor's degree in EECS at UC Berkeley and worked as a resident researcher in Robotics at Google.

Boling Yang

Boling Yang is a Ph.D. student in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering co-advised by Prof. Joshua Smith and Prof. Byron Boots. His current research focuses on making robots strategically and agilely interact with human users in certain competitive-HRI scenarios. Previously, Boling received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington.

Carolina Higuera Arias

Carolina Higuera is a Ph.D. student in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering advised by Prof. Byron Boots. Her research focuses on developing models that allow robot manipulators capable of interpreting its world through tactile perception. She received her Master's degree in Electrical Engineering and Computers from Universidad de los Andes, Colombia, and her Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from UPTC, Colombia.

Rosario Scalise

Rosario is a PhD student in the Robot Learning Lab. He is interested in dynamic, robust, & resilient robots that adapt to the world around them. The goal of his research is to achieve these characteristics using tools from machine learning, motion planning, and adaptive control. Previously, he received BS degrees in EE/CompE from UConn and an MS from the Robotics Institute at CMU.

Tyler Han

Tyler Han is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Robot Learning Lab at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science. He is interested in performing research at the intersection of learning and control but hopes to become familiar with the whole robotics stack. Before coming to the University of Washington, Tyler received a dual degree in Aerospace Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Maryland and conducted research in motor learning at the Naval Research Laboratory.

Kevin Huang

Kevin Huang is a PhD student at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, advised by Byron Boots. His research interests are broadly in applying reinforcement learning to dynamic, real-world environments with complex constraints. Previously, he received a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Caltech.

Sanghun Jung

Sanghun Jung is a Ph.D. student in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, working with professor Byron Boots. His research interest lies in the intersection of robot perception and control, enabling robots and vehicles to perform robustly in unseen environments. Previously, he received his Master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence from KAIST and his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Korea University.

Master's Students

Sandeep Reddy

Sandeep Reddy is a Master's student with Robotics specialization in the ME Department at the University of Washington. After doing research in multi-robot formation and autonomous navigation at UW-ME, he joined the RACER project in summer 2022 and is currently working on local planning and controls advised by Nathan Hatch.

Benedikt Schesch

Benedikt Schesch is an exchange student in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. He currently pursues a Master in Computer Science at ETH Zurich, where he obtained his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. His current research focuses on ML based perception in the RACER project. Before joining the lab, he interned at Amazon, working on ML related projects.

Rama Krishna

Rama Krishna is a Master’s student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington. His interests lies in the intersection of 3D computer vision, robot perception, object Modeling, deep learning for computer vision. He currently works with Xiangyun and Nathan, on the RACER project in the perception stack. He received his dual Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical engineering and Physics from Birla Institute of Technology and Science-Pilani(Hyd). Outside of work, he enjoys Hiking, Formula1, Valorant, CS:GO, and walks in the Ravenna park.

Rwik Rana

Rwik Rana is a graduate student coming from Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, India. He is pursuing a Master's Degree in the field of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington. His interests lies in the field of perception, controls and motion planning of Mobile robots. Currently he is working in the perception team of UW Racer with Amirezza and is also part of the drones team with Alex and Guanya. Apart from academics, he loves football(soccer) and loves to play the piano. He is open to collaboration related to robotics in sports and music as well. Mirre robots dohaeris and May be the force be with him!

Navneet Kaur

Navneet Kaur is a first-year Masters student in Mechanical Engineering Department. She is working with Carolina Higuera. Her current project is on the Franka Panda robot. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, India.

Undergraduate Students

Cleah Winston

Cleah Winston is an undergraduate at the the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. She is currently involved in research at the Robot Learning Lab. In the past, her research has been in field of computational neuroscience, autonomous vehicles, and machine learning. She also co-authored a paper that was accepted at the International Conference of Software Engineering, 2022 and attended the in-person conference. When she is not studying or doing research, she loves to play basketball, compose music, and play the flute.

Yuquan "Nil" Deng

Yuquan "Nil" Deng is a junior majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of Washington. He is interested in legged robots. He is currently working on a mobile manipulation project with Yuxiang Yang.

Alumni

Post-doc
Amirreza Shaban
Post-doc 2022, now Senior Research Scientist at Cruise
Siyuan Dong
Post-doc 2022, now Research Scientist at Huawei
PhD
Siddarth Srinivasan
PhD 2022, now Post-doctoral Fellow at the Brookings Institution
Alexander "Sasha" Lambert
PhD 2021, now Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Washington
Xinyan Yan
PhD 2020, now Software Engineer at Aurora Innovation
Amirreza Shaban
PhD 2020, now Senior Research Scientist at Cruise
Ching-An Cheng
PhD 2020, now Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research
Mustafa Mukadam
PhD 2019, now Research Scientist at Facebook AI Research
Jing Dong
PhD 2018, now Research Scientist at Facebook Reality Labs
MS
Brian Lee
MS 2022, now Research Engineer at KLNet
Jakub Filipek
MS 2022, now Software Engineer at Akuna Capital
Hemanth Sarabu
MS 2019, now Research Engineer at Symbio Robotics
Aravind Battaje
MS 2019, now Robotics Ph.D. student at TU Berlin
Zhen Liu
MS 2018, now CS Ph.D. student at MILA
Ivan Dario Jimenez Rodriguez
MS 2018, now CS Ph.D. student at Caltech
Eric Huang
MS 2017, now Robotics Ph.D. student at CMU
Rahul Goel
MS 2016, now Software Engineer at Google
Xiang Liu
MS 2015, now CS Ph.D. student at UC Boulder
Sen Hu
MS 2015, now Software Engineer at Facebook
Gayatri Singh
MS 2015, now Software Engineer at Amazon
Paritosh Gote
MS 2015, now Software Engineer at Microsoft