Join Us

We are looking for graduate and undergraduate students to help us on machine learning research! Successful students joining the lab are:

  • highly motivated

  • self-driven

  • inquisitive

  • passionate about research

  • great communicators

  • strong (or willing to learn) coders

  • strong (or willing to learn) in mathematics.

It always helps to have some prior experience with basic machine learning concepts and writing research papers.

In particular, I am very keen on recruiting students to develop machine detectives:

Much of machine learning is devoted to the unrealistic, sterile setting where all relevant information for a prediction task has been pre-recorded and fed to one’s algorithm. This is incongruous with many real-world problems where predictions and decisions must be made with incomplete and muddied information. Moreover, the current machine learning paradigm is unprepared for the automated future where algorithmic agents are not just passively given information, but instead are able to actively obtain information from their environment as they make decisions. This project will extend past the current paradigm to develop a ‘machine detective’, a system that is capable of reasoning with incomplete instances and interacting with the environment to obtain new information, or new clues, on-the-fly as it is making decisions. The project shall not only increase machines’ predictive abilities in domains like health-care where recorded data is abounding with missing values, but shall also enable more efficient and robust predictions in interactive domains like computerized adaptive testing for education assessment and customer-service/troubleshooting chatbots where the machine can interact with a user (or the environment) to obtain new and relevant information.

Please see our summary, video, and 2021 ICML paper for more information!

If you are interested in working with the LUPA Lab, please contact (joliva)(@)( with your CV. It is especially impressive if you include a specific project or idea (or application) you have related to the lab's work. Please note that due to the volume of emails that I receive, may not be able to individually respond to your email. Please apply to UNC's CS department here.