DMP 2005 Web Site for Alexandra Constantin
I am a student at Williams College, MA. I will be graduating in spring 2007. I am double majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics, and concentrating in Cognitive Science. My email address is Alexandra.E.Constantin (at) williams.edu.
This summer I was one of the lucky women who were selected to participate in the CRA-W Distributed Mentoring Program. The DMP strives to increase the number of women attending graduate school in the fields of computer science and engineering. The program matches undergraduate women with a faculty mentor for a summer research project which takes place at the faculty member's home institution. This internship opportunity is of enormous use to students who are considering graduate school, since it gives them an inside view of the graduate school experience and increases their likelihood of securing for graduate admissions and fellowships.
My mentor is Professor Maja Mataric of the University of Southern California. Professor Mataric's specializes in assistive interactive robotics. The primary goal of her research is to enable robots to help people. She is interested in developing systems that will provide individualized assistance (in convalescence, rehabilitation, training, and education) and in robot teams that can assist people in need (in habitat monitoring and emergency response). The place where all this research takes place is the USC Interaction Lab.
I am interested in machine learning and the study of computer algorithms that improve through experience. I find it very rewarding to explore the potential of such algorithms, which combine elements of statistical analysis, probability, and information theory, because I feel that this is the right approach towards building intelligent agents capable of performing a wide variety of functions in a very complex and unpredictable world.
To me, one of the most captivating aspects of artificial intelligence is the story of its rise, which is the quintessential story of computer science: what seemed impossible only several decades ago is now becoming reality. Robots exploring other planets, computers providing assistance with medical diagnosis and surgery, planes and cars driving themselves, machines learning and giving rise to a new kind of intelligence – these are but a few examples of practical developments anticipated in the work of early researchers but only made viable by the rapid progress in computer technology that occurred in the 1990s. With the frontiers of artificial intelligence expanding so quickly in so many directions, it seems that there are a lot of unexplored areas that offer fascinating research opportunities.