Hello! I am a final year undergraduate student at Stanford University (Class of 2024), pursuing a B.S. in Symbolic Systems with a minor in Mathematics and a coterminal M.S. in Computer Science. I conduct research with Stanford’s IRIS Lab which studies intelligence through robotic interaction at scale, affiliated with the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL) and Stanford Machine Learning Group. I am fortunate to be mentored by Professor Chelsea Finn, Suraj Nair, and Annie Xie.

My research interests span robotics, machine learning, and computer vision. I’m interested in enabling robots to learn generalizable representations from diverse datasets, and refine them through interaction for performing complex tasks in the real world. I’m especially interested in:

  1. Visual pretraining and representation learning: I am excited by the potential of embodied agents learning skill and object representations via pretraining on large, diverse datasets, and using them for sample-efficient exploration or downstream tasks.
  2. Interactive learning from multimodal human data: Humans communicate goals using various modalities, from language to physical corrections. I hope to facilitate human-compatible robot behaviors by enabling robots to process multimodal inputs and feedback, potentially leveraging large pretrained models.
  3. Continual data collection and learning: Ideally robots should continually acquire experience and skills with limited supervision. I aim to improve autonomous exploration methods for scalably collecting in-domain robot data and adapting to novel environments.

Inspired by my interdisciplinary coursework, I am drawn to research leveraging concepts in cognitive science for robot learning and visual understanding. I aim to better understand human cognitive processes, such as multimodal perception, curiosity, and interactive learning, to develop human-inspired learning algorithms for robotics.

I am a U.S. citizen who grew up and was educated in Singapore. Besides research, I worked as a software engineer at Salesforce and at several startups, ranging from deep tech (quantum computing) to B2C companies based in Southeast Asia and the United States. I also studied abroad at the University of Oxford (Magdalen College) in Fall 2022, where I studied graph representation learning and philosophy of mind, and tried my hand at rowing! I also enjoy playing tennis, hiking, reading (+ occasionally writing) science fiction, and brush calligraphy.

If any of the above sounds interesting to you, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to reach me at oliviayl [at] stanford [dot] edu.