About Me

I am fascinated by collective behaviors that emerge from the cooperation of vast numbers of individuals, as seen in living organisms as diverse as social insects and fish schools. My PhD at Harvard University pursued the design of a swarm of bio-inspired underwater robots, capable of demonstrating collective behaviors in three-dimensional space. Specializing in computer science, I studied collective intelligence and the coordination of multi-agent systems.

Before coming to Harvard University, I completed a master's and bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at ETH Zurich, where I focused on robotics. Mechanical engineering in tandem with computer science makes me a full-stack roboticist, mastering mechanical, electronic, algorithm, and control design. In addition to my research on collective intelligence, I have worked on inspection robotics, medical devices, and smart material systems.

When not at work, I have a passion for the mountains and all sorts of ways to experience gravity, such as skiing, biking, and hiking. I enjoy conversations about the past and future, and I relax over classical music and impressionist art.

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Jul 2017 - May 2021
Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science
Harvard University, Cambridge, USA. Advisors: Prof. Radhika Nagpal, Prof. George Lauder, Prof. Robert Wood.
Thesis: Blueswarm — 3D Self-organization in a Fish-inspired Robot Swarm.

Jul 2017 - Nov 2020
Master of Science in Computer Science
Harvard University, Cambridge, USA. Advisor: Prof. Radhika Nagpal.
Focus: Collective Artificial Intelligence, Multi-Agent Distributed Robotic Systems.

Sep 2014 - May 2016
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. Advisors: Prof. Bradley Nelson, Prof. Radhika Nagpal.
Thesis: A Low-Cost, Highly Maneuverable, Miniature Underwater Robot intended for Collective Behaviors.

Sep 2010 - Aug 2013
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. Advisors: Prof. Roland Siegwart, Prof. Mirko Meboldt.
Thesis: Obstacle Climbing Control for an Inspection Robot with Magnetic Wheels.

Work Experience

Mar 2022 - present
Senior Data Scientist
Fidelity Investments AI Center of Excellence, Boston, USA.
Led a team of five data scientists in developing an internal search AI based on BERT transformers. Spearheaded the design of recommender systems to personalize the customer experience and increase customer retention on Fidelity’s Bloom app.

Feb 2022 - Mar 2022
Postdoctoral Fellow
Princeton School Of Engineering And Applied Sciences, Princeton, USA.
Led the research on implicit coordination for underwater robot collectives sponsored by a $567k ONR grant.

Jun 2021 - Jan 2022
Postdoctoral Fellow
Harvard John A. Paulson School Of Engineering And Applied Sciences, Boston, USA.
Led the research on implicit coordination for underwater robot collectives sponsored by a $567k ONR grant.

Jan 2021 - present
Co-Founder at RESE
RESE — Real estate made easy for all, Boston, USA.
RESE makes real estate investing as easy as stock investing — own any share of your favorite properties and trade on our marketplace.

Aug 2016 - Jun 2017
Research Fellow
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Cambridge, USA.
Led the conception of novel multi-agent robotics platform for the investigation of collective behaviors in 3D space.

Sep 2013 - Feb 2014
Bühler Group, Bangalore, India.
Managed a $30k budget to conduct industrial research including the conception, design, and validation of food processing machines that are sold for profit. Designed the framework and motor suspension for a novel and now commercially available single screw extruder. Visited customers in Northern India to test prototypes for controlled and cost-effective oil spraying of pulses on site.

Teaching & Mentoring

Mar 2020 - Aug 2020
Graduate Student Mentor and Thesis Supervisor
Paula Wulkop. Visiting master's student from ETH Zurich.
6-month-long master's thesis on "Evasive maneuvers in a bioinspired underwater robot collective".

Jan 2020 - May 2020
Undergraduate Student Co-Supervisor
Lucas Guzman. Harvard University, COMPSCI 91r: Supervised Reading and Research.
Semester-long research project on “Collective Mapping and Visual Odometry with Miniature Underwater Robots”.

Sep 2019 - Dec 2019
Guest Lecturer and Project Advisor
Harvard University, COMPSCI 289: Biologically-Inspired Multi-Agent Systems.
Lectured in class and advised two final projects.

Jun 2018 - Dec 2020
Research Student Co-Advisor
Felix Gonda, Katherine Binney, Zachary Zieper, Katerina Soltan, Maggie Wang, Sophia Nielsen.
Graduate, undergraduate, and summer students at Harvard University.

Feb 2018 - May 2018
Teaching Fellow
Harvard University, COMPSCI 189: Autonomous Robot Systems.
Held sections and office hours, advised and graded students, won teaching award.

Feb 2013 - May 2013
Teaching Fellow
ETH Zurich, ENSCI: Innovation Process.
Coached three undergraduate engineering teams during their “Innovation Process” course. • Supported the students in conceptualizing and realizing a mechatronic system with several sensors and actuators to master a prespecified project challenge.

Fellowships & Awards

Best Paper Finalist
Finalist in the categorie "Multi-Robot Systems" at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)

Financial Support
David B. Heller Innovation Fund at Harvard University

Certificate of Distinction in Teaching
Harvard University Bok Center

Best Paper Finalist
Finalist in two categories (best conference paper and best student paper) at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)

2017 - 2021
PhD Scholarship
Harvard University

Janggen-Pöhn Foundation

Werner Siemens Foundation

Swiss Study Foundation

Best Innovator Award
Bühler Group

2011 - 2020
Long-Term Fellowship
Swiss Study Foundation

Graduation Award for First in Class
Wil High School

Sustainability Award for Best Matura Paper in the Field of Sustainability
Employer's Association Wil

Leadership & Activities

Completed a summer MBA at the Harvard Business School.

2017 - 2018
Member of the reatch-team for artificial intelligence, wrote an article on AI and robotics.

2016 - present
ETH Alumni New England Chapter
Board member, organized talks with ETH professors.

2010 - 2016
Wiler Forum for Sustainability Issues (WIFONA)
Board member and vice president, organized forums with Swiss Federal Councilors for several hundred participants.