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Data Science Coast to Coast: Robotics and Human-Computer Interaction

March 17 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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The data science institutes at seven universities  invite you to join the 2021 Data Science Coast-to-Coast seminar series.  These data science institutes have been planning ways to foster a broad-reaching data science community that can collaborate extensively to advance our missions for research, education, and data science for social good.  Using Zoom to eliminate geographical constraints, this seminar series is one of our first steps toward the goal. 

In the first half of 2021, we will host five seminars, each featuring one faculty member and one postdoctoral fellow from two universities.  Each speaker will give a 20-minute talk about ongoing projects and motivating issues, followed by 20 minutes of discussion with the audience. These seminars will be the launching point for follow-on research discussion meetings which will hopefully lead to fruitful collaborative research


March 17th presenters:

Lydia Kavraki (Director of Ken Kennedy Institute and Professor of Computer Science, Rice University)

Robotics in the Data Science Era


Advances in mechanisms, control theory and algorithms are delivering robots that explore the deep seas and distant planets, robots that work tirelessly in fulfillment centers, and robots that increasingly interact with people. This talk will touch upon recent developments in robotics with emphasis on our own work in motion planning. It will then discuss the tremendous impact that the integration of research in robotics, AI, and data science will have in our lives and society as a whole.

Bio: Lydia E. Kavraki is the Noah Harding Professor of Computer Science and the Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute at Rice University. Her interests span Robotics, AI, and Biomedicine. In 2020 she received the ACM-AAAI Allen Newell Award and the IEEE Robotics Pioneer Award. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the Academy of Athens, and Academia Europaea. Information about her work can be found at http://www.kavrakilab.org

Angela Radulescu (Moore-Sloan Faculty Fellow, Center for Data Science, New York University)

Towards Naturalistic Task Representation in Health and Disease

Humans learn more from their experiences than just how to behave in different situations. They also learn to organize experiences into internal representations that facilitate flexible behavior, in domains ranging from simple decision-making to goal-directed action in naturalistic, richly structured environments. In the first part of the talk, I will show that such representation learning relies on selective attention to constrain the dimensionality of environments that humans learn from; and that attention is in turn guided by inference over what features of the environment are relevant for the task at hand. In the second part of the talk, I will present ongoing work leveraging virtual reality (VR) in combination with eye-tracking to study representation learning in naturalistic settings. I will conclude with a discussion of how predictive modeling of behavior in VR may yield insights into cognitive factors that affect mental health.

Bio: Angela Radulescu is a Moore-Sloan Faculty Fellow at the New York University Center for Data Science. Angela earned her Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience from Princeton University, where she did research in Yael Niv’s group on computational mechanisms of selective attention during reinforcement learning. She is broadly interested in how humans learn from interaction from the environment, and in how learning can lead to changes in mental health.




March 17
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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