Playing Chess
Learning how People Communicate

About Me

I joined the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering department at UMBC as an assistant professor in autumn of 2014, after obtaining my Ph.D. at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Research

Link to IRAL Lab

My primary research interests are in robotics and natural language processing; in my work, I combine these interests to support research in human-robot interaction, or HRI. My work focuses on the problem of grounded language acquisition: extracting semantically meaningful representations of human language by mapping those representations to the noisy, unpredictable physical world in which robots operate.

More specifically, I work on combining probabilistic, grammar-based natural language processing with machine learning to transform human communication into a formal language that a robot can understand. I have looked at using this kind of language learning to learn how to follow navigation instructions or learn more about the world from human users by learning to extend a world model in tandem with learning a language parsing model.

More Visual?

This is a word cloud created automatically from all my paper abstracts:

Teaching

In Autumn 2015, I am teaching Intro to Robotics. Graduate students in CMSC, CMPE, and Mech E are particularly encouraged to join us.