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Jim Boerkoel
assistant professor of computer science @ harvey mudd


Meet Prof Jim!

Welcome!

Meet Prof. Jim Boerkoel

Prof. Jim Boerkoel

  • Assistant Professor of Computer Science
  • Director: HEATlab
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Claremont, CA
  • Curriculum Vitae

Contact

Bio

Jim Boerkoel is an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at Harvey Mudd College where he leads the Human Experience & Agent Teamwork Lab. The goal of the HEATLab is to develop techniques that augment humans' own cognitive and physical abilities to create integrated human-agent teams that are more capable than their individual counterparts. Prior to joining HMC, Jim worked as a Postdoctoral Associate with Julie Shah of the Interactive Robotics Group at MIT. Jim completed his doctoral thesis on developing distributed approaches for constraint-based, multi-agent scheduling under the supervision of Ed Durfee at the University of Michigan. Jim received his B.S. (Summa Cum Laude) in both Mathematics and Computer Science from Hope College (2006), and his M.S. (2008) and Ph.D. (2012) in Computer Science and Engineering. In 2017, Boerkoel was recognized with an NSF CAREER award for his project "Robust and Reliable Multiagent Scheduling under Uncertainty." More broadly, his research interests include automated planning and scheduling, multi-robot coordination, human-robot interaction, and AI education.

Education & Previous Experience

  • Postdoctoral Associate, Interactive Robotics Group, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab - Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Cambridge, MA, 2012 - 2013
  • Ph.D., Computer Science and Engineering - University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI, July 2012
  • M.S., Computer Science and Engineering - University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI, August 2008
  • B.S., Mathematics, Computer Science - Hope College - Holland, MI, December 2005 (Summa Cum Laude)

Research Interests

  • AI Education
  • Multiagent Coordination
  • Assistive Technology
  • Human Robot Interaction
  • Constraint-Based Scheduling
  • Robotics in Advanced Manufacturing

Teaching

Highlights of the courses I teach.

CS140 - Algorithms

This course is all about algorithm design, analysis, and correctness. Design techniques including divide-and-conquer and dynamic programming. Analysis techniques including solutions to recurrence relations and amortization. Correctness techniques including invariants and inductive proofs. Applications including sorting and searching, graph theoretic problems such as shortest path and network flow. An introduction to computational complexity, NP-completeness, and approximation algorithms. Proficiency with programming is expected as some assignments require algorithm implementation.

CS151 - Artificial Intelligence

This course introduces the basic ideas and techniques underlying the design of intelligent computer systems. A specific emphasis will be on the statistical and decision-theoretic modeling paradigm. By the end of this course, you will have built autonomous agents that efficiently make decisions in fully informed, partially-observable, and adversarial settings. Your agents will draw inferences in uncertain environments and optimize actions for arbitrary reward structures. Your machine learning algorithms will classify handwritten digits and photographs. The techniques you learn in this course apply to a wide variety of artificial intelligence problems and will serve as the foundation for further study in any application area you choose to pursue.

CS154 - Robotics

This course is (hopefully) coming soon! Topics include: control theory, observation and tracking, localization, vision, behavior, applications, and social implications. If you're interested in possibly taking Robotics, be sure to take AI, since it will likely be a pre-req!

Research

Highlights from current HEATlab research projects.

The mission of the HEATlab is to develop robust techniques for human-robot teamwork that exploit the relative strengths of humans and agents. For the latest HEATlab news and highlights, check out the projects below, visit the HEATlab website, or follow us social media:

  • PaW Pal

    Our Productivity and Wellness Pal (PaWPal) project explores whether an agent (smartphone app) can learn and visualize trends about the experiences of its human teammate in order to nudge them towards behavior that optimizes their productivity and wellness.

  • Robot Brunch

    Our Robot Brunch project explores what it takes for multiple robots to schedule robust interactions in the messiness of the real world.

  • Human Robot Conavigation

    Our Human Robot Conavigation project explores how to plan and schedule robots' interactions with humans on shared activities so that the exchanges are fluid and intuitive.

Calendar

Where Prof. Jim will be when.

Need to meet?

Please use the calendar below to find a time between 9:00AM and 5:00PM, M-F that works for you and e-mail Prof. Jim. Please try to give 24-hour notice, as my schedule tends to shift often.

Contact Me

Need to chat? Have questions or concerns? Would you like to get involved? Please contact me!