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Leif R

- Research Program Mentor

PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate


Machine Learning, Evolutionary Computing, Genetic Algorithms, Agent-based Modeling, Mechanism Design, NLP Data Science

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Evolving Algorithms to Play Classic Video Games

Some techniques from deep reinforcement learning have already been used to train neural networks to play classic Atari video games at above human level proficiency. I could advise a student in developing a platform for training evolutionary algorithms or classical reinforcement learning agents to attempt to learn to play a video game that they are familiar with.

Investigating Potential Slowdowns in Scientific Progress

Some prominent scientists and innovators have recently suggested the possibility that we have become less efficient at generating new scientific ideas. There are many factors that are claimed to be contributing to this. A recent study has shown that our language (used in books) has been becoming progressively less rational since the 1970s. I could advise a student in using natural language processing tools and data visualization to investigate these claims and perhaps develop new metrics for measuring scientific progress in a given field of interest they have.

Developing a Web-based Educational Game or Interactive Curriculum

I could advise a student in developing a web-based educational game or a related form of interactive curriculum that helps demonstrate and reinforce a particular subject matter to other students.

Coding skills

Python, C++, Java, JS, PyTorch, CUDA, NetLogo

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