Name: Nihar S. Talele
Advisor: Professor Katie Byl
Hometown: Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India
Previous degrees: Msc. Electrical Engineering, USC
Degree sought from UCSB: Ph.D ECE
Degree progress: 6th year
Honors and Awards: Graduated with Honors, Electrical Engineering, USC
Hobbies, activities and interests: Cooking, Drawing, Video Games
Research Program: Control Systems, ECE
Main area of research: Robotics and Control
Research interests: Trajectory optimization, underactuated robotics, biomechanics.
Master Thesis or dissertation title/topic: N/A
Title of your most important publication to date
Mesh-based Methods for Quantifying and Improving Robustness of a Planar Biped Model to Random Push Disturbances
Please describe your research in more detail
Design trajectories and control policies for dynamical systems using optimization and reinforcement learning and analyze their stability properties using tools like meshing.
What made you interested in your area of research and how did you get in to it?
My interest in humanoid and biologically inspired locomotion led me to explore this are of research.
What motivates you in your research?
Many of the trivial tasks performed by humans and other animals are still to complicated for the robots to perform.
How has your research and UCSB changed you?
It has taught me to fight a little bit longer before you give up.
UCSB prides itself on its collaborative atmosphere. How do you collaborate with e.g., your advisor and other faculty, groups, research areas, departments, students (in and outside your group)?
The collaborative atmosphere really makes it easy to approach different faculties for discussions regarding research.
LIFE AS A GRAD STUDENT
What is your experience living in Santa Barbara?
A chill and laidback lifestyle.
What are your personal Career Goals? Where do you want to be in 10 years?
Are you or have you been a TA or GSR? If so, what classes/labs do/did you teach
Yes, Robotics and Control, control systems, digital control systems, control systems project, signal analysis, nonlinear phenomena.
What made you select UCSB and the Electrical Engineering program?
I found the research in Prof. Katie Byl's lab very interesting (also the beach :P).
What are your experiences with the program so far?
Expertise of faculty in various fields and collaborative atmosphere.
What are some of the department and the program's strengths?
The beautiful campus and facilities like recreational center really make it easy to maintain a work life balance.
How would you explain campus life as an engineering student?
What challenges have you faced as a student or researcher?
What would you say to others who are considering becoming a student or researcher at UCSB?
Go for it! There are many interesting courses to learn from. Try taking courses outside your field to broaden your horizon.
What is your living situation like? (Roommates, living at home, apartment, student housing etc.)
5 words your family and friends would use to describe you?
Troll, good cook, introvert, sincere, organized
What are your biggest strengths?
Making a schedule and sticking to it
Favorite classe(s) you have ever taken? Why did you like it/them so much?
Nonlinear control systems:- The course really encourages you to think outside the box to arrive at a solution.
What are your plans for the near future? (travel, research, internship etc)
Focus on research related to robotics.
What is on your bucket list this year?
What did you want to become when you were younger?
What is something you can't go a day without doing?
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
What are some people you have looked up to in your life? How have they inspired or impacted you?
Parents, Professors, friends and many more!
Please share a moment in your life that has really affected who you are today