RACHEL MA

About Me

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I'm a senior at Brown University, double majoring in Computer Science and Music. I am a researcher in the Humans to Robots Lab (H2R) and Intelligent Robots Lab (IRL) at Brown, under research advisors: Professors George Konidaris and Stefanie Tellex. Broadly, I am interested in the intersection of robotics+natural language processing, and robotics+human-robot interaction for robots to be integrated into society to help humans with everyday tasks!

Contact: rachel_ma@brown.edu
Resume Link

Recent Update: Awarded Honorable Mention for Computing Research Association (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award (Dec 2022)

Publications

* denotes first author

R. Ma*, L. Lam, B.A. Spiegel, A. Ganeshan, B. Abbatematteo, R. Patel, D. Paulius, S. Tellex, G. Konidaris, “Generalizable Skills With Verbs” in International Conference for Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2022, in review.

Research Experiences

Robotics and NLP Researcher (Jan 2022 - Present, Brown University)

Led research in robotics and natural language processing through transferring skills (robot manipulation) across different objects from ideation to submitted paper.

Choreo-robotics Researcher (Jan 2021 - Dec 2021, Brown University)

Worked on projects to develop reactive dancing robots. Experimented with two robots: Spot with grasping objects and Baxter with dancing the Macarena moves to different songs. Led a beat detection project using deep learning methods. Helped with grant writing and designing curriculum for the Choreo-robotics course offered at Brown.

Drone and STEM Education Research, DuckieSky (Mar 2020 - Dec 2021, Brown University)

Was a Robotics Research Assistant, Project Manager, and Communications lead. Communicated with professors and team members; delegated tasks; led meetings, developed curriculum; led training, outreach, and tech support to high school teachers and students. Research with autonomous drones/systems: built drones from parts, utilized ROS, implemented localization and PID control.

Teaching Experiences

Computer Science Meta Teaching Assistant (October 2021 - Present, Brown University)

One of two MTAs coordinating the CS TA program, managing, and leading approximately 60 HTAs and 400 UTAs each semester, and communicating between undergrads, technical staff, and CS faculty. Also represents the CS department at Brown events.

Computer Science Head Teaching Assistant (September 2021 - May 2022, Brown University)

HTA for Artificial Intelligence (CSCI 1410: Fall 2021) and Introduction to Discrete Math and Probability Structures (CS0220, Spring 2022). Worked with professors on homework and course development, administrative duties, made changes to auto-grader scripts, trained and lead TAs for the class.

Computer Science Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (September 2020 - May 2021, Brown University)

UTA for Computing Foundations: Data (CS0111) in Fall 2020, Cybersecurity and International Relations (CS1800) in Spring 2021. Held TA hours for students, assignment development, led lab sections and discussions, graded assignments and projects.

Music Keyboard Lab Undergrad TA (September 2021 - December 2021, Brown University)

Keyboard lab TA for all intro music theory classes (MUSC400A, MUSC400B, MUSC550) during Fall 2021 Held private TA sessions one on one with students to teach them keyboard and music lab exercises and techniques including sight reading, clef reading, scales/arpeggios/chords, learning short piano pieces, ear training, sight singing, and harmonization.

Awards

Honorable Mention for Computing Research Association (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award (Announced Dec 2022)

Molly and David Wadhwani Foundation Meta UTAship in honor of Andy van Dam (Fall 2022, Brown CS department)

Norm Meyrowitz ’81 Meta-TAship in honor of Ugur Cetintemel (Spring 2022, Brown CS department)

Margery MacColl Award (2021, Brown Music department)

Karen T. Romer Undergraduate Teaching and Research Awards UTRA (awarded twice: Summer 2021, Summer 2020, Brown University)

Other

When I'm not coding, I'm often practicing piano (soloist, chamber musician, accompanist), composing music (currently working on a orchestral piece), or hanging out with my friends and fellow members of the Zeta Theta Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega at Brown.