Campus Shutdown Notice

In light of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, we have decided to close our administrative offices starting Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice.  Cory and Soda Hall are closed.  Classes are being held remotely.  All events in Cory and Soda Halls will either be cancelled or held remotely, and staff will be working remotely during this time.


Dissertation Talk: Compact and Efficient Power Electronics System Design for Automotive, Solar PV, and Aerospace Applications

Virtual (Zoom)
  • Derek Chou
Design of energy delivery systems is becoming an increasingly complex and multi-disciplinary field. In emerging applications such as renewable energy delivery, electric vehicle powertrains and charging, and grid interface systems, the power electronics are becoming more sophisticated and more densely-packed than ever before. In this talk, we will discuss considerations of such power electronics...

Dissertation Talk: Goal-Directed Exploration and Skill Reuse

  • Vitchyr H. Pong
Reinforcement learning is a powerful paradigm for training agents to acquire complex behaviors, but it assumes that an external reward is provided by the environment. In practice, a reward function is often hand-crafted by a user, a process that is time-consuming to repeat for every possible task and that makes manual engineering a primary bottleneck for behavior acquisition. In this talk, I will...

CCB Seminar

Zoom Seminar
  • Dr. Daniel Dominguez, Assistant Professor, Department of of Pharmacology, UNC Chapel Hill


Virtual Participation
CSV Conference 2021 (csv,conf,v6) is a small community conference that has a broad mission and features diverse talks about data sharing and data analysis, tools, practices, and data science applications from science, journalism, government/civic tech, academia, industry, and open source — with a strong focus...

Dissertation Talk: Model Selection in Stochastic Bandit Problems and RL, from CORRAL to Regret Balancing

  • Aldo Pacchiano
We study the problem of adaptively selecting the best stochastic bandit or reinforcement learning algorithm among a variety of choices and propose two distinct and versatile solutions, one based on an adversarial master algorithm and a simpler version relying on a purely stochastic one. We exhibit model selection regret guarantees for the resulting algorithms: Stochastic CORRAL, ECE and RBBE.
The tremendous success of neural networks is clouded by the existence of adversarial examples: maliciously engineered inputs can cause neural networks to perform abnormally, causing security and trustworthiness concerns. In this talk, I will present some progress on an alternative approach for robustly classifying images. Generative classifiers use generative models for image classification,...

Dissertation Talk: Scalable Reinforcement Learning Systems and their Applications

  • Eric Liang
The past few years have seen the growth of deep reinforcement learning (RL) as a new and powerful optimization technique. This thesis looks at deep RL from the systems perspective in two ways: how to design systems that scale the computationally demanding algorithms used by researchers and practitioners, and conversely, how to apply deep RL to expand the state of the art in systems. The first...

Dissertation Talk: Circuits and Control for High-Performance Grid-tied Ac-Dc Conversion Systems

  • Zitao Liao
Power electronics based ac-dc and dc-ac power conversion systems are critical links in the power delivery chains of today's electrical grid for emerging applications such as electric vehicle charging, renewable energy source integration data center power delivery, consumer electronics and so on. In this talk, the design and control techniques to improve the performance for both single-phase and...

Dissertation Talk: High-performance FMCW LiDAR with MEMS Optical Beam Scanner

  • Xiaosheng Zhang
Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems have applications that span several industries and markets, from metrology, robotic control to autonomous vehicles. Frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) LiDARs can achieve high-resolution distance and velocity measurements without fast electronics or high optical power, but typically require narrow-linewidth lasers with complex feedback circuits...

Dissertation Talk: Interactive Perception for Robotic Manipulation of Liquids, Grains, and Doughs

  • Carolyn Chen Matl
With the advent of robotic solutions in both the home and industrial environments comes the need for robots that can dependably perceive and manipulate unstructured or deformable materials such as liquids and doughs. Robust handling of these complex materials often depends upon prior knowledge of key material properties such as viscosity or stiffness, which ultimately affect material dynamics....