welcome to the homepage of
Jim Boerkoel
associate professor of computer science @ harvey mudd

Meet Prof Jim!


Prof. Jim Boerkoel


  • Please note, Jim is on sabbatical from HMC and so may be harder to find / less responsive than typical.
  • boerkoel[@]cs[.]hmc[.]edu
  • Office: 909-607-4522 (x74522)


Jim Boerkoel is an Associate 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-robot 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


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!


Prof. Jim Boerkoel leads Human Experience & Agent Teamwork Lab (HEATlab) @ HMC. The mission of the HEATlab is to develop robust techniques for human-robot teamwork that exploit the relative strengths of humans and agents. We focus on using ideas from AI to automate the scheduling and coordination human-robot and robot-robot teams. We are particularly motivated by the challenge of coordinating human-robot teams in uncertain environments that require explicit cooperation to be successful. Our research recognizes and exploits the relative strengths of humans and agents to accomplish what neither can achieve alone. You can read more about the HEATlab in this recent PCMag interview with Jim!. For information about Jim's research, current HEATlab projects, publications, news and highlights,please visit heatlab.org, or follow us on social media:


Need to meet?

To schedule a meeting with Jim, please use the calendar tool below.
Please Note: Jim is on sabbatical and away from the office for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Contact Me

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

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Gretchen Rice, Olin College'20

MAD Fluency

Prof. Jim Boerkoel

HEATlab Director

Lab Alumni

Jordan Abrahams '19

Robot Brunch

Shyan Akmal'19


Morgan Frisby '19

HRI in Retail

Maggie Li '19


Viva Ojha '19


Brenner Ryan '19

Robot Brunch

Amy Huang '18


Liam Lloyd '18


Montana Roberts, Scripps '18

Human-Robot Teamwork

Jane Wu '18

Human Robot Teamwork
Ph.D. Student at Stanford University

Scott Chow '17

Robot Brunch
Ph.D. Student at Oregon State University

Sam Dietrich '17

Robot Brunch

Kyle Lund '17

Robot Brunch

Erin Paeng '17

Human Robot Teamwork

Emi Reed '17

Robot Brunch; PaWPal

Sam Echevarria '16


Kari Linder, CMC '16

Human Robot Teamwork

Emma Meersman '16


Alex Gruver '15

PaWPal; Robot Brunch

Jacob Rosenbloom '15


Jeb Brooks '14

Robot Brunch

Contact Us

Want to get involved? Have questions? Ideas? Or want more information? Click here to email Jim!

The online application for summer undergradate research positions is posted here each January, so please check back soon!
Please note: there are currently no available positions for independent research, high school student interns or graduate students.

For all other opportunities to get involved, please follow us on social media and/or join our mailing list!