805 Columbus Avenue
660 Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC)
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Andrea Baisero is a PhD student in the Machine Learning program at Northeastern University’s College of Computer and Information Science, advised by Professor Christopher Amato. His research interests lie in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics.
Andrea is involved with the Robotics at Northeastern research group, and has an interest in reinforcement learning. He aims to develop state-of-the-art technologies for generalization and transfer learning. Andrea plans to pursue a research career, building on theoretical knowledge with practical applications.
Before joining Northeastern’s PhD program, Andrea earned his Bachelor’s of Science at the Polytechnic University of Turin in Italy. He then earned a Masters of Computer Science at the Polytechnic University of Turin and the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden.
- MSc, Computer Science, Royal Institute of Technology – Sweden
- MSc, Computer Engineering, Polytechnic University of Turin – Italy
- BSc, Computer Engineering, Polytechnic University of Turin – Italy
- Hometown: Fiumicino (Rome), Italy
- Field of Study: Machine Learning
- PhD Advisors: Christopher Amato
What are the specifics of your graduate education (thus far)?
I’ve started pursuing my MSc studies at the Polytechnic University of Turin (Italy, 2009-2012) and concluded them at the Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden, 2010-2012) as the recipient of a double-degree scholarship.
What are your research interests?
I’ve cultured a keen (yet platonic) interest in Reinforcement Learning ever since I got into studying Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence during my MSc studies. However, despite always working on Machine Learning, I never really got into Reinforcement Learning until now, which is great as it has been my long-term goal for a long time now.
What’s one problem you’d like to solve with your research/work?
I’m very interested in developing state-of-the-art methods with a focus on generalization and transfer learning. As humans, we are gifted a biological intelligence which allows us to quickly reapply old experience and knowledge to novel scenarios; imagine learning a new board game: it’s usually not the case that you have to test (or imagine) all of the available options to vaguely distinguish the good ones from the rest. This is a stark contrast with artificial intellect which, when facing with a new problem with new rules, usually requires a “warm-up” exploratory phase where it wanders blindly gathering extremely basic knowledge about the environment.
What aspect of what you do is most interesting?
I think most people who are not in this field don’t usually understand how amazing it is that humans can make intelligent and well-informed decisions despite all the uncertainty in their lives, and how they can learn something and apply the knowledge to something completely different. Being able to replicate such a (flawed and yet) highly functioning system computationally is a huge challenge; when (and if) we will be able to do this, it will shed a lot of light on human nature as well.
What are your research or career goals, going forward?
I’d like to focus on a career in research, based on theoretical knowledge but with practical applications. I think that this field–beside being my focal interest–satisfied my ambitions perfectly because there are is so much to discover and invent, with so many wonderful applications.
Where did you grow up or spend your most defining years?
I grew up moving from country to country every 2-4 years due to my father’s job, so it’s not really possible to pin-point a defining geographic location. Home base is and will always remain Italy (that’s where my whole family is living right now), although I’ve lived there only for a total of 6 years, and never really in my own home town.
Where did you study for your undergraduate degree?
I pursued my BSc studies at the Polytechnic University of Turin, in Italy; one of the core reasons being to have a concrete adult living experience in Italy, and it being the number one engineering university in Italy, and among the top-ranked ones in Europe.