“How small a thought it takes to fill a whole life!” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

Research Interests

My current research interests lie in the field of Artificial Intelligence, including Reinforcement Learning, Imitation Learning, Deep Learning, Bayesian Inference and Graphical Models, Game Theory and Multi-Agent Systems, as well as their application in Dialogue Systems, Linguistics, Robotics and Scientific Discoveries — especially Neuroscience.


September 2018 - Present
Research Assistant @ Seung Lab, Princeton University.
Mentored by Prof. Sebastian Seung on Computational Neuroscience.

September 2018 - Present
Research Assistant @ Princeton NLP Group, Princeton University.
Mentored by Prof. Karthik Narasimhan on Natural Language Processing and Reinforcement Learning.

June 2017 - Feburary 2018
Research Intern @ Institute for Computational Sustainability, Cornell University.
Mentored by Prof. Carla Gomes on Artificial Intelligence and Computational Sustainability.
Collaborators: Prof. Yexiang Xue, Junwen Bai, Brendan Rappazzo, Guillaume Perez

July 2016 – June 2018
Undergraduate Researcher @ SJTU Speech Lab, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Mentored by Prof. Kai Yu on Spoken Dialogue System.
Collaborators: Lu Chen, Cheng Chang, Xiang Zhou, Zihao Ye

August 2016 – June 2017
Member of ZIRC Program @ Laboratory of Quantum Technology (QUTEC).
Collaborated on Interdisciplinary Research Project of Photonic Boson Sampling.

I was fortunate to join many collaborative research projects during my undergraduate. For instance, our project “Urban Air Policy Evaluation via Spatio-Temporal Data Analysis” with Yiyi Zhang (Research Intern at MSRA Urban Computing Group) and Bicheng Gao won the first prize in the 4th “Hsue-shen Tsien Cup” Collegiate Science and Technology Contest. I also worked part-time with AIMS Laboratory on some interesting research topics connecting Economics with Computer Science.


Machine Learning

  • [C4] Imitation Refinement for X-Ray Diffraction Signal Processing.
    Junwen Bai, Zihang Lai, Runzhe Yang, Yexiang Xue, John Gregoire, Carla Gomes.
    In proceedings of the 2019 International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing ( ICASSP 2019), Brighton, UK, May 2019.
    [ Paper | Bib ]

Dialogue System

  • [C3] Affordable On-line Dialogue Policy Learning.
    Runzhe Yang*, Cheng Chang* (equal authorship), Lu Chen, Xiang Zhou and Kai Yu.
    In proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP 2017), Copenhagen, Denmark, September 2017.
    [ Paper | Bib | Appendix ]

  • [C2] Agent-Aware Dropout DQN for Safe and Efficient On-line Dialogue Policy Learning.
    Lu Chen, Xiang Zhou, Cheng Chang, Runzhe Yang and Kai Yu.
    In proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP 2017), Copenhagen, Denmark, September 2017.
    [ Paper | Bib | Appendix ]

  • [C1] On-line Dialogue Policy Learning with Companion Teaching.
    Lu Chen, Runzhe Yang, Cheng Chang, Zihao Ye, Xiang Zhou and Kai Yu.
    In proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (EACL 2017), Valencia, Spain, April 2017.
    [ Paper | Bib | Poster ]



  • [P1] Mitochondrial Size Gradients in Cortical Neurons Suggested by 3D Electron Microscopy.
    Nicholas L. Turner, Runzhe Yang, Agata Foryciarz, Kisuk Lee, William Silversmith, William Wong, Jingpeng Wu, Sven Dorkenwald, T. L. Lewis, Yusuke Hirabayashi, Franck Polleux, Nuno da Costa, R. Clay Reid, H. Sebastian Seung
    Poster presentation at the conference of Society for Neuroscience (SfN 2018), San Diego, CA, USA, November 2018. [ Abstract | Poster ]


Machine Learning

  • [M3] Imitation Refinement.
    Runzhe Yang*, Junwen Bai* (equal authorship), Yexiang Xue, John Gregoire and Carla Gomes. May 2018. [ ArXiv | Bib]

  • [M2] Multi-Armed Image Segmentation.
    Brendan Rappazzo, Guillaume Perez, Runzhe Yang, Olivia Graham, Drew Harvell and Carla Gomes. Feburary 2018.

Human Computing & Crowdsourcing

  • [M1] Pedagogical Value-Aligned Crowdsourcing.
    Runzhe Yang, Yexiang Xue and Carla Gomes. December 2017.
    [ Paper1 | Paper2 | Appendix ]


  • Deep Multi-Objective Reinforcement Learning and Its Application in Task-Oriented Dialogue Systems.
    Runzhe Yang, 2018 Excellent Bachelor Thesis of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (top 1%) [ Thesis | Bib ]