Mary Lau

Mary  Lau
MIT EECS | Keel Foundation Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: Nicholas Roy
Department: EECS
Years: 2021-2022
Research Project Title:

Extending Data-driven Surrogate Simulators to Robotic Exploration

abstract:The goal of our project is to develop a physically-informed surrogate simulator for spatiotemporal phenomenon suitable for us in robotic decision-making that overcomes the computational challenges of traditional numerical models. In particular, we will be using our robot for exploration of hydrothermal plumes, typically characterized by partial differential equations (PDEs). To enable our robot to optimize sampling trajectories for plume exploration, we need to effectively forward-simulate in real-time the fluid dynamics surrounding the robot. To meet this real-time demand, we will use deep learning and statistical methods to train a surrogate simulator that approximates forward solutions of the PDE system (on scale of seconds) and captures the uncertainty associated with our predictions.

SuperUROP seems like a great opportunity for me to apply my background in mathematics and machine learning (6.036) to a real-world project. I am super interested in how we can leverage statistics and deep learning to tackle modeling complex, dynamic environments. I am particularly excited to delve into this novel problem of using learning to develop real-time PDE simulators for exploration of environmental phenomena.