Mental health always comes first!

This resource is under construction. If you ever need someone to talk to, you can reach out.

I have written about mental health a little bit, but I plan to add more.

Some things I try to keep up with:

  • Ask myself every day: what am I doing for fun today? 
  • Be compassionate with myself like one would be to a close friend (podcast introducing this to me).
  • Say no when needed.

Tips on the UC Berkeley system

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It took me multiple tries to find therapy! It is worth it!

  • The tool for finding therapists is very poorly made (link), expect it to take some time. I recommend using CAPS while you are looking externally.
  • Berkeley Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is generally very busy. They work generally for a few sessions on a short term solutions. Meeting a couple times a semester can be part of a support network, but will likely not solve all of your problems.
  • When looking for an external therapist, a lot of slots for students open up at the end of the year (people graduate and move) and at the end of July (SHIP ends and some people do not renew their therapy).
  • I am helping build out more resources for graduate students in the EECS department. Reach out or check back soon.

Berkeley EECS resources can be found here. UC College of Engineering is working on a new centralized resource for mental health and mindfulness, but for now here are the three full time staff members for all of engineering: 

Research Reality Check

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Here are the challenges I have faced in graduate school.

(Last updated Jan. 2021)

Stalled, not failed, projects

List of projects that stalled that I remember (reverse chronological order).

  1. Undergrad project on scaling multi-agent communications into multi-agent RL frameworks (think merging BICNET with QMIX), (Summer 2020 — Fall 2020)
  2. Controlled Flight of the Ionocraft, (Spring 2018 — Fall 2020).
  3. Constrained optimization for control in MBRL, (Tried a couple times — Summer 2019).
  4. Audio transmission with electrohydrodynamic thrusters, (Summer 2018 — Spring 2019).
  5. Multiple projects on controlled coordination and learning trajectories with a drone and MBRL, building on this, (Fall 2018 — Spring 2019).
  6. A project that was almost identical to the idea that turned into the MBPO algorithm (pseudo-scoop), (Fall 2018 — Summer 2019).
  7. Using 0th order optimizers to generate control parameters from learned one-step dynamics models, (Fall 2018 — Summer 2019, during internship :/).
  8. Imitating human drivers interactions with pedestrians, Berkeley Deep Drive, (Winter 2017).

Resubmissions

Paper submissions also historically are a total mess. Making this list I think I have actually been somewhat fortunate in the amount of rejections.

List of papers that were not accepted the first submission:

  1. On the Importance of Hyperparameter Optimization forModel-based Reinforcement Learning, page soon, AISTATS 2021 (I got added to this late, but it was rejected at least once from ICML).
  2. Learning Accurate Long-term Dynamics for Model-based Reinforcement Learning, TBD 2021 (CoRL 2020 rejection).
  3. Objective Mismatch in Model-based Reinforcement Learning, L4DC 2019 (CoRl 2019 weird rejection, ICRL 2020 rejection).
  4. Low Level Control of a Quadrotor with Deep Model-Based Reinforcement Learning, IROS 2018 (ICRA 2018 rejection).

Wild Project Journeys

Some projects are not defined by resubmissions. Here are couple projects that I did that are not the imagined path for research.

  1. Nonholonomic Yaw Control of an Underactuated Flying Robot with Model-based Reinforcement Learning: This paper started in my second semester of graduate school, had a two year gap in the middle, and then was published in the start of my fourth year after my Qualifying Exam Chair seemed to like how it sounded.
  2. A project on simulating swarm-v-swarm combat in my lab has been started and restarted by various groups of undergrads. Now on the third wave. It doesn’t count as stalled, but it is special.

Grants

I have submitted numerous grants and fellowships that I have not won or heard anything back from. At this point figuring out all of them is too much of a hassle. Needless to say it includes multiple years of Facebook, Google, Microsoft fellowships and Google, Amazon research awards. Many others have come and past too.

You are enough!