synergy quantum academy Heramb Nemlekar


I am a Postdoctoral Associate in the Collaborative Robotics Lab (Collab) directed by Dr. Dylan Losey at Virginia Tech. I completed my Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Southern California (USC) under the guidance of Dr. Stefanos Nikolaidis and Dr. Satyandra K. Gupta, and M.S. in Robotics Engineering from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) under Dr. Zhi (Jane) Li.

My research focuses on enabling intelligent agents to quickly adapt to their human partners for assisting them in complex tasks; reducing human effort, increasing task efficiency, and improving user experience. Accordingly, my work lies at the intersection of robotics, machine learning, and human modeling.

In my Ph.D. thesis, I propose methods for efficiently learning human preferences without needing costly human demonstrations by leveraging similarities between different humans and different tasks.

Here is my CV!
For any questions you can reach me via email at


May 2023

  • I successfully defended my dissertation!
  • Tech Briefs interviewed my advisor on our HRI work [Link].

April 2023

  • Medium featured our work on transfer learning of human preferences [Link].
  • USC Viterbi showcased our HRI paper in an article "Robots Predict Human Intention for Faster Builds" [Link].
  • The same work was also featured by [Link].

March 2023

  • Our paper was the best systems paper finalist at HRI 2023!

Previous highlights

  • WIRED featured our work on inferring human preferences in an article "Why Scientists Love Making Robots Build Ikea Furniture" [Link].
  • USC Viterbi showcased our ICRA paper in an article "Need help building IKEA furniture? This robot learns your preferences and lends a hand" [Link].
  • I was quoted by WPI during the GRIE finals [Link].

© Heramb Nemlekar
655 S Fair Oaks Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94086