Alankar Jain is a LTI MLT (Masters in Learning Technology) student at Carnegie Mellon University, where he is advised by Prof. Justine Cassell. He feels fortunate to be working on his dream of building robust AI beneficial to humankind through his research on innovating Deep Reinforcement Learning techniques and applying them to the complicated task of building socially-aware task-oriented conversational agents for domains as diverse as movie recommendation systems, and peer tutors for teenagers: agents that not only assist humans in their day-to-day tasks but also build a long-term harmonious relationship with them, in such a way as to improve task performance, and create a world where the importance of social interaction is highlighted rather than forgotten. Prior to joining CMU, Alankar gained industrial experience by working three years as a Research Engineer with IBM Research, India. Before that, he graduated with a Bachelor's and a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. During his undergrad years, Alankar’s leadership initiatives included launching the Society for Promotion of Undergraduate Research, and reviving the Department Newsletter, which created greater community amongst students and led to a number of ongoing research collaborations in a IIT Bombay, a high profile school nevertheless not particularly known for undergraduate research. Alankar is especially zealous about promoting collaboration, mentoring students at all stages, and fostering educational initiatives for those who have had started out in underserved communities. In this respect Alankar served as the IIT Student Mentor, as a volunteer Undergraduate Teaching Assistant and as a zealous member of two education startups that provided high quality Science and Math education to underserved communities in India. Alankar continues to work towards merging his twin passions: AI and education, in order to provide access to high quality education for all. In his free time, he enjoys writing screenplays and Hindi poems.
M.S. , Computer ScienceClass of 2019