Yuchen   Cui

  • yuchencui(at)utexas.edu

PhD Student

Department of Computer Science
University of Texas at Austin

About Me

I am currently a PhD student in the Computer Science Department at the University of Texas at Austin. I am working with Professor Scott Niekum in the Personal Autonomous Robotics Lab (PeARL). My research interest is in Robotics and Human Robot Interaction. I want to develop algorithms that enable robots to learn efficiently through intelligent interaction with humans.



Austin, TX

PhD in Computer Science


West Lafayette, IN

B.S. in Computer Engineering

Research Experience


Austin, TX

Graduate Research Assistant

I work with Professor Scott Niekum in the Personal Autonomous Robotics Lab (PeARL). Our goal is to develop personal robots to be deployed in unstructured environments, such as our home and office. So far, I have been working primariliy on active inverse reinforcement learning. I am also a member of the UT Austin Villa@Home team participated in the 2017 Robocup at Home competition.

Visual Analytics

West Lafayette, IN

Undergrad Research Assistant

As part of the Purdue Summer Research Undergraduate Fellowship program, I conducted research at Purdue Visual Analytics for Command Control and Interoperability Environment (VACCINE) lab, working with Dr. David S. Ebert and Junghoon Chae. I wrote programs in Java utilizing Facebook and Instagram APIs in an effort to expand data sources of the SMART framework. I also integrated the Non-negative Matrix Factorization topic extraction algorithm into the system to improve its performance. During the consecutive semesters, I conducted research on how to effectively visualize time-elapsed location data from social media using trajectory-based visualizations. The work is included in the paper “Trajectory-based Visual Analytics for Anomalous Human Movement Analysis using Social Media”, which was published at EuroVis Workshop on Visual Analytics (2015).

System On Chip Extension Technology

West Lafayette, IN

Undergrad Team Member

I joined the team as part of Purdue ECE's Vertically Integrated Projects. Under the guidance of Dr. Mark C. Johnson, I worked on learning a system designed by prior team members and managed to debug the chip design on a Field Programmable Gate Aarray (FPGA) using the provided debugging interface. The chip was then manufactured and tested.



  • RoboCup@Home Domestic Standard Platform League - 3rd Place, July 2017 As a member of the UT Austin Villa@Home team, I worked on the 3D perception and manipulation modules for enabling the Toyota Human Support Robot (HSR) to perform various tasks including storing groceries from a table into a cupboard and setting up a table with user-defined items.
  • Intel-Cornell Cup - 2nd Place, May 2015 As a member of team Guardian Angel, I worked on designing both the hardware and software for enabling an UAV equipped with infrared and ultrasonic sensors to track a human user, who is wearing a helmet with beacons, for video recording purpose.

Teaching Experience

  • University of Texas at Austin

    • TA for CS343: "Artificial Intelligence"
    • TA for CS313E: "Elements of Software Design"
  • Purdue University

    • TA for CS159: "Programming Applications for Engineers"
    • TA for ECE364: "Software Engineering Tools Lab"
    • TA for ECE337: "ASIC Design Laboratory"

Class Projects