Jessie Huang

Postdoctoral Researcher

Yale University

About Me

I'm a postdoc in the department of computer science at Yale University. Before this, I worked as a postdoc under the supervision of Prof. Doina Precup in the Reasoning and Learning Lab at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, between 2017 and 2018.

I'm interested in machine learning, especially reinforcement learning. I want to understand how to set goals and rewards for RL agents. If we would like the agent to behave safely, how should we design the learning process? How can we train agents to perform well on multiple tasks? These are the problems I currently focus on.

Before reinforcement learning and Montreal, I lived in San Francisco and worked as an engineering consultant at Exponent. I received my PhD in Mechanical Engineering from University of Michighan, Ann Arbor, supervised by Prof. Michael Thouless. If you are interested in my work about fractures, cracks, and how to utilize cracking and healing of polymeric materials for DNA stretching and drug release, or how things break and fail, I'm always happy to talk. I hope that one day I can use machine learning to help tackle those engineering problems.


Machine Learning

  1. Learning Safe Policies with Expert Guidance [PDF], Jessie Huang, Fa Wu, Doina Precup, Yang Cai. Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS). 2018.
  2. Learning Safe Policies with Expert Guidance [PDF], Jessie Huang, Fa Wu, Doina Precup, Yang Cai. appear in Adaptive Learning Agents (ALA) Workshop at the Federated AI Meeting 2018 collocated with ICML 2018 in Stockholm.


  1. Self-healing of Pores in PLGAs [HTML, PDF] J Huang, JM Mazzara, SP Schwendeman, MD, Journal of Controlled Release 206, 20-29, 2015
  2. The Collapse and Expansion of Liquid-Filled Elastic Channels and Cracks [HTML] F Meng, J Huang, MD Thouless, Journal of Applied Mechanics 82.10, 2015
  3. The Control of Crack Arrays in Thin Films [HTML, PDF] J Huang, BC Kim, S Takayama, MD Thouless, Journal of Materials Science 49.1, 255-268, 2014
  4. Fracture-Based Fabrication of Normally Closed, Adjustable, and Fully Reversible Microscale Fluidic Channels [HTML] BC Kim, C Moraes, J Huang, T Matsuoka, MD Thouless, S Takayama, Small 10 (19), 4020-2029, 2014
  5. Fracture-Based Micro and Nanofabrication for Biological Applications [HTML] BC Kim, C Moraes, J Huang, MD Thouless, S Takayama, Biomaterials Science 2(3), 288-296, 2014
  6. Guided Fracture of Films on Soft Substrates to Create Micro/Nano-Feature Arrays with Controlled Periodicity [HTML] BC Kim, T Matsuoka, C Moraes, J Huang, MD Thouless, S Takayama, Scientific Reports, 3, 3027, 2013
  7. Nanoscale Squeezing in Elastomeric Nanochannels for Single Chromatin Linearization [HTML] T Matsuoka, BC Kim, J Huang, NJ Douville, MD Thouless, S Takayama, Nano Letters 12 (12), 6480-6484, 2012