Ariel Anders PhD

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

I am a roboticist with almost a decade of experience blending the fields of robotics and computer science. I research robust robotic manipulation methods with the vision of enabling household helpers. As a teaching assistant at MIT, I taught three undergraduate hands-on robotics laboratory courses and instructed two high-school autonomous vehicle classes. More recently, I lectured a mechanical engineering course on Dynamics at Olin College of Engineering. My passions extend outside research and education: at MIT I helped found a clean energy assessment center, developed an iOS app for people with vision impairment, and received a grant to install therapy lamps across campus.

I attained a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of California: Santa Cruz in 2012. I earned a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2014 and completed my PhD in 2019.

Contact Information
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  • 32 Vassar St.
    Cambridge, MA 02139


    February 2019 I graduated! I submitted my thesis in Jan. 2019 and officially graduated with my PhD in Computer Science from MIT this February.
    October 19, 2018 I will defend my thesis on reliably arranging objects using conformant planning. Event information
    May 2018 My ICRA paper was accepted! I will be attending one of the world's largest robotics conferences in Brisbane, Australia.
    April 2018 I participated in a student panel as part of the Race/Gender Imperative - a series put on by Anita Hill. Professor Nilanjana Dasgupta provides a fascinating talk about the effect of women experts and peers in STEM, which is followed by the student panel. Video link.

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    February 2018 I presented my Model AI assignment, titled "Robot Juggling", at AAAI in New Orleans, LA. You can see my project website here.
    September - December 2017 I'm lecturing Dynamics at Olin College of Engineering this fall semester. Achievement unlocked: faculty member!
    Summer 2017 I've been promoted to technical instructor for this year's Beaver Works Summer Institute. My added job responsibilities are mostly lecturing. Some of the videos will be hosted here.
    February - May 2017 I am a teaching assistant this semester for MIT's coolest robotics class: 6.141/16.405 Robotics Science and Systems. It's cool because a team of 6 students get a Traxxus-body car with an NVIDIA Jetson and a great suite of sensors. The RACECAR kits are available commercially here.
    Janurary 2017 My journal paper with MIT MechE Daniel Preston was accepted to Applied Physics Letters. We created a new MEMS actuator using electrowetting.
    Coming soon: 2012-2016 I'm still porting information from my previous website. Feel free to check out the old site in the meantime.