My name is Ramya, and I’m majoring in mathematics and computer science at Harvey Mudd College. I’ve just completed my junior year. My current research interests are theoretical machine learning and AI, but I also love exploring other topics in math and CS. This summer, the research I’m doing is in the area of robotics, and I’m enjoying it immensely and learning a lot! Other interests of mine include reading fiction, writing and playing badminton. I also learn Indian classical music and western classical piano, and spend a lot of my free time doing those. A couple of my favorite books are “The Rook” by Daniel O’Malley and “The Likeness” by Tana French.
About My Mentor
I am working at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with Professor Kris Hauser, who is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Electric and Computer Engineering. His research is in the area of robotics and its applications. You can find out more about Prof. Hauser at his website.
About My Project
My project this summer is part of an overall proposal to build a disinfection robot. Facilities that require regular and proper sanitization, such as hospitals, would benefit from an automated system capable of taking over from humans who are susceptible to infection. One method of sanitization that seems suitable is ultraviolet light, as the radiation is effective at killing microbes. This project focuses on designing an autonomous robot that uses UV light and is capable of moving around its environment to disinfect touch surfaces. There’s many different moving parts involved in building a fully functional robot, and specifically, I am working on the aspect of motion-planning, aiming to determine a path for the UV source which provides every relevant surface with the appropriate dose of radiation for disinfection.
Based on the work we did over the summer, I wrote a research paper along with my graduate student mentor (João Marques), a postdoc working in Prof. Hauser’s lab (Zherong Pan) and Prof. Hauser. We have submitted the paper to the 2021 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2021). You can view the paper here:
Please visit my blog to see real-time updates and progress on the work I’m doing!