Stefanos Nikolaidis is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California. His research draws upon expertise on artificial intelligence, procedural content generation and quality diversity optimization and leads to end-to-end solutions that enable deployed robotic systems to act robustly when interacting with people in practical, real-world applications. Stefanos completed his PhD at CMU's Robotics Institute and received an MS from MIT, a MEng from the University of Tokyo and a BS from the National Technical University of Athens. Stefanos' research has been recognized with an NSF CAREER award, an oral presentation at NeurIPS and best paper awards and nominations from HRI, IROS, and ISR.
Varun Bhatt is a Ph.D. student with Prof. Stefanos Nikolaidis in the Computer Science department at USC. His general research goal is to understand and develop algorithms for efficient robot-robot and robot-human interactions using ideas from reinforcement learning and game theory. He completed his B.Tech at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and his M.Sc. at the University of Alberta. During his master's, he worked with Prof. Michael Buro on an algorithm for multi-agent communication.
Nathan is a Ph.D. student in the computer science department at USC. He is co-advised by Prof. Maja Matarić and Prof. Stefanos Nikolaidis. He previously received a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.Eng. in Robotics Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he explored ways to improve internalizing motivation in middle school students using intelligent tutoring systems. His current research interest is in developing computational models of social behavior to better inform physically assistive robots.
Matt Fontaine is a PhD student at the University of Southern California advised by Stefanos Nikolaidis. Prior to coming to USC, Matt completed B.S. and M.S. degree at the University of Central Florida. He also worked as a research assistant in game-based training at UCF’s Institute for Simulation and Training and as a simulation engineer at Drive.ai. His research interests are broadly in the intersection of automatic scenario generation for training, procedural content generation in games, and human-robot interaction.
Ya-Chuan (Sophie) Hsu is a PhD student advised by Prof. Stefanos Nikolaidis in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Southern California. She received her M.S degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M University, where she was advised by Prof. Dylan Shell. She has broad research interests in robotics and artificial intelligence. Her current research has been centered on planning under uncertainty, particularly behavior planning for human-aware robots.
Zimo Li is a computer science PhD student who is advised by Prof. Stefanos Nikolaidis. He completed his undergraduate degree in mathematics at the University of Chicago, and subsequently finished his M.S. degree from the same institution. His research interests lie at the intersection between human digitization, human computer interaction, and robotics.
Heramb is a PhD student advised by Prof. Stefanos Nikolaidis in the Computer Science department at the University of Southern California. He did his master’s in Robotics Engineering at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute where he was advised by Prof. Jane Li. His research interests lie in planning for human-robot collaboration, learning from demonstration and high-level symbolic planning. He is a recipient of the Annenberg Fellowship award.
Sherdil is a visiting PhD student from the University of Washington, where he works with Siddhartha Srinivasa. He is interested in designing graph-based motion planning algorithms for robots deployed in highly challenging and constrained environments, particularly in surgical and manufacturing scenarios. His current work focuses on interleaving these algorithms with gradient-free optimizers to improve the setups of difficult motion planning problems.
Bryon Tjanaka is a Ph.D. candidate in the ICAROS Lab at USC advised by Stefanos Nikolaidis. Bryon researches robotics and AI, particularly applications of quality diversity optimization to reinforcement learning and human-robot collaboration. Bryon is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and a USC Graduate School Fellow. Previously, Bryon studied at UC Irvine, where he worked with the indylab and the Mobley Lab and graduated summa cum laude. Concurrent with his research, Bryon serves as webmaster for the Viterbi Graduate Student Association, and he has interned at Google for several summers. During high school, Bryon won the VEX Robotics World Championship with Team 86868.
Hejia is a computer science PhD student at the Interactive and Collaborative Autonomous Robotic Systems Lab advised by Prof. Stefanos Nikolaidis at University of Southern California. His research interests lie in ways robots can actively acquire knowledge from non-expert human users, vast amount of available online content and interacting with the environment to intelligently plan and act in real-world applications while alongside and interacting with humans. His research is motivated by real-world problems in domestic and field robotics and targets at eventually enabling robots to help ordinary people in their daily life and replace human workers in dangerous environments.
Aniruddha Kalkar is a 2nd Year Masters student majoring in Computer Science with a specialization in Artificial Intelligence at University of Southern California. His current work revolves around Quality Diversity and Reinforcement Learning. His interests lie in improving accessibility by developing scalable deep learning algorithms that solve Vision-Language tasks.
Guanyang is a master student in the Computer Science department at the University of Southern California. He did his bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His research interests lie in planning for human-robot collaboration, learning from demonstration, and perception.
Yulun Zhang is a Master's student majoring in Computer Science at the University of Southern California. His research interests include human-robot collaboration, evolutionary algorithms, and offline multi-task reinforcement learning. Before joining ICAROS, he worked in the USC Interaction Lab on a project aiming to help students who cannot be physically present at school access in-school education.
David Lee is an undergraduate student majoring in Computer Science at the University of Southern California. At ICAROS, he is working on developing and maintaining the open source quality diversity library known as pyribs. His research interest is in quality diversity and optimization.
Ziang Liu is an undergraduate student majoring in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at the University of Southern California. At ICAROS, he is working on designing and developing a new variant of RRT for robot motion planning to accomplish lime-picking tasks with a 6-DOF robot arm. His research interests include motion planning and control for manipulation and legged locomotion.
PhD 2020 (co-advised by Prof. C.-C. Jay Kuo), Applied Scientist at Amazon Research