Welcome to my homepage!

Hello, I am a 4th year Ph.D. candidate in the ECE department of The University of Texas at Austin. I am very fortunate to pursue my Ph.D. degree under the supervision of Prof. Constantine Caramanis.

Before moving to Austin, I got a Bachelor’s Degree at Electrical Engineering department, Seoul National University (SNU), Korea, in 2016.

Research Interest

My research interest lies in a theoretical aspect of machine/statistical learning and optimization. Latent variable/partially observable models are my favorite problems to work on. While my main work is the convergence analysis of the EM algorithm for popular mixture models, I am also interested in various approaches to solve them such as spectral/tensor methods and sum-of-squares proofs.

I am also interested in the theoretical aspect of Reinforcement Learning. I lead a student-oriented reading group on theory of reinforcement learning in Spring 2020. I am broadly interested in various issues in RL, including exploration/exploitation dilemma, partially observable environment, stochastic approximation, etc. Currently, I am working on the problem of latent MDPs, with a focus on the sample complexity of RL in this framework.

Some Personal Stuffs

I used to play the piano, mostly the pieces of Beethoven and Chopin. My favoriate songs to play are Chopin’s Etude 25-11, Chopin’s Ballade 4, and Beethoven’s Piano Sonata 29 (hopefully upload recordings someday…). I am also a huge fan of rock and metal musics. My favorite bands are Skid row (in late 80s-90s), Stryper (glad that they are still active!), and Slipknot. These days, I often listen to Game OST when I study or relax.

I love to play platformer games, starting from Rockman series to recent indi-games like Freedom Planet. Before I start my PhD, I have long played Starcraft and League of Legneds throughout my life, but these games are a little too intense in terms of difficulty and competition.