Taylor Kessler Faulkner is a postdoctoral scholar and UW Data Science Postdoctoral Fellow in Siddhartha Srinivasa's Personal Robotics Lab at the University of Washington. She graduated from UT Austin in August 2022 with a PhD in Computer Science, where she worked with Prof. Andrea Thomaz in the Socially Intelligent Machines Lab and was funded for three years by a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Taylor received her B.S. in Computer Science from Denison University in 2016, with minors in Mathematics and Music Performance, graduating summa cum laude with a President's Medal for her work in the Math and Computer Science Department and involvement in the Music Department.
Taylor's research spans a wide range of human-robot interaction topics, but is mainly focused on robots learning from human teachers. Her postdoctoral work focuses on assistive robotics, specifically on the work done at the Personal Robotics Lab on the Assistive Dextrous Arm (ADA). She leads the team working on this project, which is focused on robot-assisted feeding for people with upper-extremity mobility impairments. Her PhD thesis work was based on robots learning from imperfect human teachers using interactive reinforcement learning. People may not fully understand how robots should complete a task, or they may not have long periods of time available to advise learning robots. Her thesis consists of algorithms that allow robots to learn from these potentially inaccurate or inattentive teachers.