Angelique Taylor

2nd Year PhD Student
Computer Science
University of California San Diego

About Me

I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Missouri-Columbia. I began exploring different career paths in high school. First, I wanted to be an architect so that I could build houses for my family. Then, I took a circuits course and found this subject more interesting and challenging so I decided to study electrical engineering in college. Since then, I expanded my knowledge into computer engineering and now I am studying computer science for my PhD.

My Research

Tell us about your graduate research

In my work, I explore how robots can become our social companions by learning about how we interact in social environments and using that knowledge to behave appropriately themselves.

What motivated you to pursue this line of research?

I’ve been interested in learning about artificial intelligence. More specifically, how artificial intelligence can interact with people in their day-to-day lives. This led me to purse human-robot interaction.

What is the coolest thing about your research?

Imagine if you could have a social companion that could be tailored to you and your needs. Now wouldn’t that be awesome!!

What is the most challenging part of research for you?

In general, the hardest problem is: Robots are dumb. How do we make them smart? Additionally, other challenges include the limitations of currently existing sensing technologies, the computational resources needed to run algorithms on low-memory computers, finding the appropriate morphology of robots that people are most susceptible to or would like to interact with, and trying to enable a computer to understand phenomena about humans that we do not understand others, is very challenging.

My Grad School Experience

Why did you choose to go to Grad School?

I wanted to find what I am passionate about and graduate school seemed like the perfect way to explore that.

Do you ever feel discouraged? How do you get around that?

I’ve felt discouraged when I took challenging courses and I could not find a group that wanted to work with me. So I worked with students in the same predicament and found it uplifting to support people that wanted to support me back.

Who are some of your biggest cheerleaders?

The Mom, Dad, and sibling have always been my greatest support system. I could not have asked for a better one.

What has been the most useful life advice you have received?

My father told me that the decisions I make today will effect my future, so better make it count!

What’s next for you?

After I finish my PhD, I plan on becoming a professor.

What do you do to unwind?

I like to workout, eat different kinds of food, and connect with friends and family.

What do you want to say to up and coming Melanin Genius?

Don’t stop what your doing because it’s challenging, keep going because it will make you stronger.



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