Pratik Chaudhari

I am an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Systems Engineering department and the GRASP Robotics Laboratory. I hold secondary appointments in Computer and Information Science department and am a member of the Applied Mathematics (AMCS) graduate group at the University of Pennsylvania.

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 the Computing and Mathematical Sciences department.

I defended my PhD thesis in the Computer Science department at University of California, Los Angeles in 2018 where I worked with Stefano Soatto in the Vision Lab. I have an Engineer's (2014) and Master's (2012) degrees in Aeronautics & Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology 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 have worked extensively on self-driving cars in the areas of computer vision, and motion-planning at nuTonomy Inc. (now Aptiv)

Research Interests: I am interested in machine learning, in particular deep neural networks, robotics and computer vision. My ambition is to bring the dream of cybernetics closer to reality and enable Embodied Intelligence. The ability to perceive and control the environment, with cognition acting as the glue in between, is the hallmark of intelligent beings; the interplay between these three is the core of my research. In my group, we perform highly multi-disciplinary research. We study ideas from statistical physics, optimization, computer vision, control theory and motion-planning. The work can be theoretical, empirical and or really anything in between: everyone from hands-on roboticists, to engineers, computer scientists and mathematicians are welcome. This video gives a flavor of some of my results on deep neural networks.

I am always looking for exciting researchers who can be a part of my research group. I like intellectual diversity and value real-world impact of any kind in your work, e.g, whether you authored a research publication that earned a lot of accolades, or you created a mobile app that is used by 10,000 users. I would love to hear from you, please use this form to contact me about open positions.

Resume CV Research Statement


  pratikac at seas dot upenn dot edu

  Levine Hall 470

Research Group

PhD students:

  Harleen Brar (ESE PhD)

  Yansong Gao (Applied Math PhD)

  Jialin Mao (Applied Math PhD)

  Rahul Ramesh (CIS PhD)

Undergraduate and Master's students:

  Xiaoyi (Sherry) Chen (EE/MNT BS, CIS MS)

  Ashish Mehta (Robotics MS)

  Wenbo Zhang (Robotics MS)


Principles of Deep Learning (Fall 2019)

Learning for Robotics (Spring 2020)


See Google Scholar for the latest list of publications and citations.


A picture of the energy landscape of deep neural networks
PhD, Computer Science, University of California, Los Angeles, 2018

Algorithms for autonomous urban navigation with formal specifications
Engineer, Aeronautics-Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2014

Incremental sampling based algorithms for state estimation
SM, Aeronautics-Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2012