Pratik Chaudhari

I am a faculty in the ESE department and the GRASP Lab with secondary appointments in CIS and the Applied Mathematics (AMCS) departments at the University of Pennsylvania. As I start my research group, I will be taking on PhD students in the general areas of robotics, control, machine learning and computer vision; also see the research statement below. If you are applying outside the ESE department, e.g, CIS or MEAM, drop me an email.

Previously, I held a joint position as a Senior Applied Scientist at Amazon Web Services and a post-doctoral researcher at the California Institute of Technology in Computing and Mathematical Sciences department.

I defended my PhD thesis in the Computer Science department at UCLA and I worked with Stefano Soatto in the Vision Lab. I have an Engineer's and Master's degrees in Aeronautics & Astronautics from MIT where I worked with Emilio Frazzoli at the Laboratory of Information and Decision Systems (LIDS). I was in the Aerospace Engineering department at IIT Bombay for my undergraduate studies until 2010.

I am interested in deep learning, robotics and computer vision. I draw from physics, optimization and probability to solve problems in these domains. I have worked extensively on self-driving cars in the areas of computer vision, motion-planning and stochastic estimation at nuTonomy Inc.

Resume CV Research Statement


  pratikac at seas dot upenn dot edu


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Publications (Google Scholar)

R. Fakoor, P. Chaudhari, S. Soatto, A. Smola
A Baseline for Few-Shot Image Classification
G. Dhillon, P. Chaudhari, A. Ravichandran, S. Soatto
P3O: Policy-on Policy-off Policy Optimization
R. Fakoor, P. Chaudhari, A. Smola
Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, 2019
Stochastic gradient descent performs variational inference, converges to limit cycles for deep networks
P. Chaudhari, S. Soatto
International Conference of Learning and Representations, 2018
Video of a talk at IPAM New Deep Learning Techniques workshop
Short version PDF at
Advances in Approximate Bayesian Inference, NIPS 2017
SIAM Conference on Imaging Science, 2018
Parle: parallelizing stochastic gradient descent
P. Chaudhari, C. Baldassi, R. Zecchina, S. Soatto, A. Talwalkar, A. Oberman
Short version at
SysML Conference, Stanford, 2018
Deep Relaxation: partial differential equations for optimizing deep neural networks
P. Chaudhari, A. Oberman, S. Osher, S. Soatto, G. Carlier
Research in the Mathematical Sciences (RMS)
Short version PDF at
Principled Approaches to Deep Learning, ICML 2017
SIAM Conference on Analysis of Partial Differential Equations, 2017
Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems, and Computers, 2017
Entropy-SGD: Biasing gradient descent into wide valleys
P. Chaudhari, A. Choromanska, S. Soatto, Y. LeCun, C. Baldassi, C. Borgs, J. Chayes, L. Sagun, R. Zecchina
International Conference of Learning and Representations, 2017
On the energy landscape of deep networks
P. Chaudhari, S. Soatto
Advances in non-convex analysis and optimization, ICML 2016
Incremental synthesis of minimum-violation control strategies for robots interacting with external agents
P. Chaudhari, T. Wongpiromsarn, E. Frazzoli
American Control Conference (ACC), 2014
Sampling-based algorithms for optimal motion planning using process algebra specifications
P. Chaudhari, V. Varricchio, E. Frazzoli
IEEE Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2014
Game theoretic controller synthesis for multi-robot motion planning
Part I : Trajectory based algorithms

M. Zhu, M. Otte, P. Chaudhari, E. Frazzoli
IEEE Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2014
Incremental sampling-based algorithm for minimum-violation motion planning
L. Reyes-Castro, P. Chaudhari, J. Tumova, S. Karaman, E. Frazzoli, D. Rus
IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), 2013
Watch a video of the demonstration here.
Most societally beneficial video at International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), 2014.
Sampling-based algorithms for continuous-time POMDPs
P. Chaudhari, S. Karaman, D. Hsu, E. Frazzoli
American Control Conference (ACC), 2013
Sampling-based algorithm for filtering using Markov chain approximations
P. Chaudhari, S. Karaman, E. Frazzoli
IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), 2012


A picture of the energy landscape of deep neural networks
P. Chaudhari
PhD thesis, Computer Science, UCLA, 2018
Algorithms for autonomous urban navigation with formal specifications
P. Chaudhari
Engineers's thesis, Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT, 2014
Incremental sampling based algorithms for state estimation
P. Chaudhari
Master's thesis, Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT, 2012