What is a Samara?

Proud owner of ACME Klein bottle hat and Mobius strip scarf

About Me

I obtained my bachelor degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I love geometry. To take geometry on the road, I also like to study theory, robotics and computer graphics. If I were not to become a computer scientist, I would love to be a plant, animal, and mountain illustrator for adventurers like Alexander von Humboldt in the 18th century.

"Geometry is not true, it is advantageous." Henri Poincaré

  • au revoir Illinois

    I graduated!

  • WAFR 2018

    I attended WAFR 2018 from Dec 8 to Dec 11 in Merida, Mexico. This was my first real academic conference experience and I really enjoyed it. I met many researchers in robotics and had discussions with many people about robots. My favorite talk is by Elon Rimon about his work on robotic finger caging. We also got to visit Chichén Itzá on the last night. It was a wonderful experience and see you WAFR 2020!

  • Senior Thesis

    I am working on my senior thesis with Professor Sariel Har-Peled. The main topic is ham-sandwich cut. We want to improve the runtime for computing a ham-sandwich cut in higher dimension by studying the combinarotial properties of many algebraic geometric objects, including arragements and semialgebraic sets.

  • Summer@EPFL

    I was a research intern at the computer graphics and geometry lab at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) during summer 2018. I worked on the assembly-aware design of topological interlocking structures. I designed and implemented different optimization schemes to measure and improve a given structure.

  • Bouncing robot and ninja star

    I joined the Motion Strategy Lab led by Professor Steve LaValle. I am currently working with Ph.D. student Alexandra Nilles on “bouncing” robots and we want to understand the theoretical power and limits of mobile robots that apply the bouncing motion strategy. Our paper recently got accepted by WAFR 2018!

  • Samsung Research America

    I spent the second semester of my sophomore year and the summer after at Samsung Research America. I joined the Think Tank Team, Computer Vision Group, where I worked on several projects about computer vision and deep learning.

  • Polyhedral Geometry for Analyzing Phylogenetic Methods

    I joined Illinois Geometry Lab under the supervision of Professor Ruth Davidson during Fall 2016, where I worked on a research project that applied polyhedral geometry to computational biology. We compared different phylogenetic tree spaces and study the BHV tree space in particular. I gave a talk about our project at the SIAM Conference on Applied Algebraic Geometry 2017.

Class Projects

Gender Income Disparity in US Counties in 2017 by Occupation, Education, and Race and Ethnicity

A visualization of the gender income disparity through a map view, a scatter plot and a lollipop view using the data from the American Community Survey. CS467 Final Project

Musical Tastes of Cities

A visualization to find out what types of music different parts of the world like to listen to and how geographical and cultural differences influence people's musical tastes using Spotify API. CS467 Class Project

Watch the Transformations!

An interactive Virtual Reality game for learning linear algebra. CS 498 VR Final Project

Memory Lane

An online web & mobile journaling service that enables its users to store their memories. CS 196 Final Project


Course Assistant for CS 374 Introduction to Algorithms & Models of Computation

I am a course assistant for CS 374, a required class for UIUC CS and ECE majors. My responsibilities include assisting discussion sections and grading homework.

Illinois Geometry Lab Project Mentor

I became a mentor for a project about tensegrity at Illinois Geometry Lab during Fall 2018. The goal of the project is to understand the role of group theory in tensegrity stability and create software to analyze and optimize tensegrity configurations based on various objectives. Other than doing research, my main responsibilities also include helping other students to learn about general research methods, organize weekly meetings and maintain research blogs.


Teaching Assistant for CS 498 Virtual Reality

I was a teaching assistant for the virtual reality class taught by Professor Anna Yershova. I was responsible for holding office hours to help students with theoretical or implementation questions as well as working with other TAs to design, release and grade homework.