• yuchencui(at)utexas.edu
  • /
  • (512) 484 0486

PhD Student

Department of Computer Science

University of Texas at Austin

Personal Information

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 domestic robots that can help to do chores and entertain people at home. Besides my research, I enjoy cooking Chinese dishes, watching non-horror movies, playing DOTA2 and cleaning up the mess my dog makes.



Austin, TX

PhD in Computer Science



West Lafayette, IN

B.S. in Computer Engineering

2011 - 15

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 robot vision, including object segmentation, tracking and recognition. I am also working on how to improve inverse reinforcement learning through continuous feedback.


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 under the guidance of Dr. David S. Ebert and Ph.D. student Junghoon Chae. I wrote programs in Java utilizing Facebook and Instagram Application Programming Interfaces (API) 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).

2014 - 15

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.


Teaching Assistant Experience

University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX

Graduate TA

I work as the teaching assistant for a computer science class named "Elements of Software Design", lectured by Dr. William C. Bulko, where students learn about object-oriented programming in Python.


Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN

Undergraduate TA

I worked as teaching assistant for three different courses (programming languages): Programming Applications for Engineers (C and Matlab), Software Engineering Tools Lab (Python and Bash) and ASIC Design Laboratory (System Verilog). My major tasks were conducting labs, grading assignments and holding office hours.

2012 - 15

Work Experience

Aspyr Media Inc.

Austin, TX

Python Engineer Intern

I built a software with Graphical User Interface in Python to help automate the financial reporting process at Aspyr.

June - August 2016

Beijing CapInfo Technology Company

Beijing, China

Software Engineer Intern

I designed and built prototype of an intelligent customer-service plug-in for E-commerce utilizing a natural language processing toolkit.

May & June 2013

Guiyang Microsoft Technology Center

Guiyang, China

Software Intern

I learned to program in C# with simple projects and studied about an online food ordering system developed by my co-workers.

May - July 2012


  • BLIS This is a project for my linear algebra class. We implemented a microkernel in assembly for improving the performance of matrix-matrix multiplication of processors with Haswell architecture. Our implementation achieved 90% performance of openBLAS and ranked highest among the class.
  • WBOSC for NAO As part of the Autonomous Robots class, my team implemented a Whole-Body Operational Space Control on the NAO robot so that it can perform complex tasks with assigned hierarchy. We programmed in C++.
  • Extreme Sports UAV Extreme Sports UAV is an intelligent UAV designed to recognize and follow a rock climber to take videos. My team designed the entire on-board control unit communicating with a ArduPilot flight controller. This project was modified to participate in the 2015 Intel-Cornell Cup as project "Guardian Angel" and ended up with a second place prize.
  • ASIC Kalman Filter As part of the ASIC Design Lab, our team designed an ASIC Kalman Filter. We implemented the design in System Verilog and tested the mapped design using ModelSim.
  • Rhythm Master Rhythm Master is an arcade game machine designed as my Microprocessor System Design Mini Project. We made use of the Freescale HC12 microprocessor.