About

Aleksandra Faust is a Staff Research Scientist and Reinforcement Learning research team co-founder at Google Brain Research. Previously, Aleksandra founded and led Task and Motion Planning research in Robotics at Google, machine learning for self-driving car planning and controls in Waymo, and was a senior researcher in Sandia National Laboratories. She earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of New Mexico (with distinction), and a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include learning for safe and scalable reinforcement learning, learning to learn, motion planning, decision-making, and robot behavior. Aleksandra won IEEE RAS Early Career Award for Industry, the Tom L. Popejoy Award for the best doctoral dissertation at the University of New Mexico in the period of 2011-2014, and was named Distinguished Alumna by the University of New Mexico School of Engineering. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, PC Magazine, ZdNet, VentureBeat, and ​was awarded Best Paper in Service Robotics at ICRA 2018, Best Paper in Reinforcement Learning for Real Life (RL4RL) at ICML 2019, and Best Paper of IEEE Computer Architecture Letters in 2020.

Latest News

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Learning to Learn for Reinforcement Learning (AutoRL)

Self-supervision in planning

Learning complex skills with hierarchical planning

  • 2020- Visual Navigation Among Humans with OptimalControl as a Supervisor, Arxiv, Website, Code. Press: VentureBeat, Techxplore.

  • 2020 - Zero-shot Imitation Learning from Demonstrations for Legged Robot Visual Navigation, Xinlei Pan, Tingnan Zhang, Brian Ichter, Aleksandra Faust, Jie Tan, Sehoon Ha, ICRA to appear (Arxiv)

  • 2020 - Long-Range Indoor Navigation with PRM-RL, Anthony Francis, Aleksandra Faust, Hao-Tien Lewis Chiang, Jasmine Hsu, J. Chase Kew, Marek Fiser, Tsang-Wei Edward Lee, T-RO 2020. (Citation, Arxiv, Video) Blog, Press: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5].

  • 2019 - Learning to Navigate the Web, Izzeddin Gur, Ulrich Rueckert, Aleksandra Faust, Dilek Hakkani-Tur, ICLR. ZdNet article; Medium, Top 10%, 30% acceptance rate. (Pdf, BibTex)

  • 2018 - PRM-RL: Long-range Robotic Navigation Tasks by Combining Reinforcement Learning and Sampling-based Planning, Aleksandra Faust, Oscar Ramirez, Marek Fiser, Kenneth Oslund, Anthony Francis, James Davidson, Lydia Tapia, ICRA. Best paper in Service Robotics; Mentioned in Looking Back at Google’s Research Efforts in 2018, Blog. (pdf, Bibtex, Video)

  • 2018 - FollowNet: Towards Robot Navigation by Following Natural Language Directions with Deep Reinforcement Learning, Pararth Shah, Marek Fiser, Aleksandra Faust, J. Chase Kew, Dilek Hakkani-Tur, 3rd MLPC at ICRA, May 2018 (Pdf, BibTex)

Reinforcement Learning On-Edge

  • 2020 - The Sky Is Not the Limit: A Visual Performance Model for Cyber-Physical Co-Design in Autonomous Machines, Srivatsan Krishnan, Zishen Wan, Kshitij Bhardwaj, Paul Whatmough, Aleksandra Faust, Gu-Yeon Wei, David Brooks, Vijay Janapa Reddi, CAL, paper. (Best of CAL in 2020)

  • 2019 - Quantized Reinforcement Learning (QUARL), Srivatsan Krishnan, Sharad Chitlangia, Maximilian Lam, Zishen Lam, Aleksandra Faust, Vijay Janapa Reddi. 1st Workshop on Resource-Constrained Machine Learning. Medium (Arxiv, GitHub)

  • TinyRL - autonomous navigation on nano drone.

    • 2021 - Tiny Robot Learning (tinyRL) for Source Seeking on a Nano Quadcopter, Bardienus P. Duisterhof, Srivatsan Krishnan, Jonathan J. Cruz, Colby R. Banbury, William Fu, Aleksandra Faust, Guido C. H. E. de Croon, Vijay Janapa Reddi, ICRA.

    • 2019 - Learning to Seek: Autonomous Source Seeking with Deep Reinforcement Learning Onboard a Nano Drone Microcontroller, Bardienus P. Duisterhof, Srivatsan Krishnan, Jonathan J. Cruz, Colby R. Banbury, William Fu, Aleksandra Faust, Guido C. H. E. de Croon, Vijay Janapa Reddi. BitCraze blog (Arxiv, Video, GitHub)

  • Hardware in the loop benchmarking for nano-drones

    • 2021 - Air Learning: a deep reinforcement learning gym for autonomous aerial robot visual navigation, Srivatsan Krishnan, Behzad Borojerdian, William Fu, Aleksandra Faust, Vijay Janapa Reddi, Mach Learn 110, 2501–2540 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10994-021-06006-6

    • 2020- Air Learning: An End-to-end Learning Gym For Aerial Robots, Srivatsan Krishnan, Colby Banbury, Bardienus Duisterhof, Aleksandra Faust, Vijay Janapa Reddi, MLSyS Demo Track (36% acceptance rate)

    • 2019 - Air Learning: An AI Research Platform for Algorithm-Hardware Benchmarking of Autonomous Aerial Robots, Srivatsan Krishnan, Behzad Borojerdian, William Fu, Aleksandra Faust, Vijay Janapa Reddi. (Arxiv, GitHub)

    • 2019 -Toward Exploring End-to-End Learning Algorithms for Autonomous Aerial Machines, Srivatsan Krishnan, Behzad Boroujerdian, Aleksandra Faust, Vijay Janapa Reddi, LLAF@ICRA 2019 (Paper)

    • 2018 - MAVBench: Micro Aerial Vehicle Benchmarking,” 51st IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture (MICRO), Behzad Boroujerdian, Hasan Genc, Srivatsan Krishnan, Wenzhi Cui, Aleksandra Faust, Vijay Janapa Reddi, 21% acceptance rate. (Pdf, BibTex, Video)

    • 2018 - Why Compute Matters for UAV Energy Efficiency?, Behzad Boroujerdian, Hasan Genc, Srivatsan Krishnan, Aleksandra Faust, Vijay Janapa Reddi, 2nd International Symposium on Aerial Robotics. (Pdf, BibTex)

Safe reinforcement learning

  • 2020 - Safe Policy Learning for Continuous Control, Yinlam Chow, Ofir Nachum, Aleksandra Faust, Mohammad Ghavamzadeh, Edgar Duenez-Guzman, CoRL. (Arxiv) Mentioned in Google AI Year in Review. RL4RL@ICML 2019. Best paper award.

  • 2019 - Comparison of Deep Reinforcement Learning Policies to Formal Methods for Moving Obstacle Avoidance, Arpit Garg, Hao-Tien Lewis Chiang, Satomi Sugaya, Aleksandra Faust, Lydia Tapia, to appear at IROS

  • 2018 - Resilient Computing with Reinforcement Learning on a Dynamical System: Case Study in Sorting, Aleksandra Faust, James B. Aimone, Conrad D. James, Lydia Tapia, 57th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control ZdNet Article. (Pdf, BibTex)