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Two Robotics Institute Students Named Seibel Scholars
September 10, 2012

Two graduate students in the Robotics Institute – Sanjiban Choudhury and Ruta Desai – are among five Carnegie Mellon University graduate students named 2013 Seibel Scholars by the Seibel Scholars Foundation.

The Siebel Scholars program recognizes the most talented students at the world’s leading graduate schools of business, bioengineering, and computer science. They are chosen based on outstanding academic achievement and demonstrated leadership. On average, Siebel Scholars rank in the top 5% of their class, many within the top 1%. Each receives a $35,000 award for their final year of study.

Choudhury is in the RI master’s program, with plans to pursue a Ph.D. in robotics. His current research is on two topics related to autonomous helicopters – motion planning and relative pose estimation to a moving visual target. A graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur), he is passionate about the development of robotics in India, organizing and leading workshops at a grass roots level.

Desai also is a master’s student. Her research focus is on legged robotics. She works with Professors Chris Atkeson and Hartmut Geyer on developing controls for automated balance recovery in the presence of large disturbances like trips and pushes. In her research, she seeks to understand the neuromuscular control of the lower limbs in human locomotion in order to design better control for artificial legs and humanoids.

Three other School of Computer Science students also were selected as Seibel Scholars.

Min Kyung Lee is a Ph.D. student in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute. Her research focuses on understanding how people make sense of intelligent, personalized systems — assistive robots, speech based interfaces, smart homes, and others — and designing them to improve people’s lives. Her dissertation addresses the question of how autonomous systems should be personalized, and how users want to control them.

Martina Rau, also a Ph.D. student in HCII and an associate in the Program for Interdisciplinary Education Research, conducts research on Intelligent Tutoring Systems with a focus on cognitive science theory. In 2009, she received the best student paper award at the 14th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education.

Zeyu Zheng began the master’s program in the Language Technologies Institute last fall and since then has embarked upon a challenging research agenda of his own in the area of domain adaptation. This work builds on successful research he began while doing an internship at Microsoft Research Asia during his undergraduate computer science education at Peking University.

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