Harsh Kumar

PhD Student · Artificial Intelligence · Human Computer Interaction · University of Toronto · harsh@cs.toronto.edu

I am a 2nd year PhD student working with Dr. Joseph Jay Williams. My primary research focus is on using reinforcement learning algorithms (like contextual bandits) to optimize the interaction of users with technology. As part of Microsoft's AI for Accessibility grant, I have been working on an adaptive text-messaging system to personalize the content and delivery of text messages for the mental well-being of users, based on the contextual information of the users. Another line of work focuses on how pre-trained general AI models could augment user workflows. I aim to bridge my research in adaptive experiments with pre-trained language model research to explore the design space of self-improving and personalized conversational agents to improve the everyday lives of users.


Experience

Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant

University of Toronto

Developing an adaptive text-messaging service to help people better manage their mental health, in collaboration with Northwestern University and Mental Health America. To increase people’s engagement, we are using machine learning algorithms to discover how to customize the content and timing of messages. Teaching assistant for several undergraduate and graduate level courses such as Human-Computer Interaction, Design of Interactive Media, Designing Intelligent Self-Improving Systems Through Human Computation, Randomized A/B Experiments and Statistical Machine Learning, and Introducation to Programming.

September 2021 - Present

Software Engineer

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Worked on a chatbot framework within the firm, focusing on Natural Language Understanding and Generation modules.

January 2020 - August 2021

Research Analyst Intern

McKinsey & Company

Developed the Vision System for the UAV system used for performing inventory cycle count in several client warehouses. Represented McKinsey in 15+ national and international conferences, showcasing the Drone and other AI capabilities of the firm.

May 2019 - January 2020

Programming Co-head

Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS-VIT)

Led the software teams of SEDS-VIT Projects, which took part in a number of international robotics competitions like AUVSI-SUAS, European Rover Challenge etc.

July 2018 - September 2019

Education

University of Toronto

Ph.D. in Computer Science
Courses: Introduction to Machine Learning, Design of Self-improving Systems, Ubiquitous Computing, Computational Social Science
September 2021 - Present

Vellore Institute of Technology

Bachelor of Technology, Computer Science and Engineering
July 2016 - July 2020