2013 picture

Travis Mandel

Assistant Professor
Department of Computer Science
University of Hawai'i at Hilo
Email: tmandel [at] hawaii [dot] edu

I am very happy to be an assistant professor at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo. I am helping lead the development of the data science program here, including both teaching and research.

Before joining UH Hilo, I earned my PhD from the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington advised by Zoran Popović and Emma Brunskill (Stanford). Before that, I earned my Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.




This Spring 2020 semester, I am teaching:
CS151 Intro to Computer Science II
CS272 Machine Learning for Data Scientists
CS350 Systems Programming

In the past, I have taught:
CS150 Intro to Computer Science I (Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019)
CS151 Intro to Computer Science II (Spring 2019)
CS172 Python for Data Analysis (Fall 2018, Fall 2019)
CS272 Machine Learning for Data Scientists (Spring 2019)
CS440 Artificial Intelligence (Fall 2017, Fall 2019)
CS494 Data-Driven Video Game Design (Spring 2018)

My current research interests deal with Human-In-the-Loop Artificial Intelligence (AI): How do we create AI systems that work effectively with human teammates to achieve better results than either could individually? This area of research lies at the intersection of two fields: AI and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Currently I am most interested in exploring how AI can most effectively work together with human scientists, identifying and addressing common problems that arise in a number of different scientific domains.

My PhD work focused on improved reinforcement learning techniques to make educational video games more effective, a challenging real-world setting in which we encountered all sorts of fascinating and fundamental AI challenges.

In the past I have also done significant work in channel coding (CRC error correction) for wireless sensor networks (WSNs), a totally unrelated area of computer science.

I am pleased to work with a awesome group of research students:

Graduate students:

Erica Ta (Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science [TCBES], primary advisor Dr. Ryan Perroy)

Undergraduate students:
Ian Herman
Pat Pérez
Sebastian Carter
Taishi Nammoto
Tim Kudryn
Kayla Schlechtinger
Max Panoff
Rebekka Williams
Randy Tanaka
Alec Goodson
Tyler Boromeo
Chansen Haili
Hiram Temple
Jahnu Best

Note: The following publication lists were last updated in Spring 2018, and as such are in need of an update when I have time.

Selected Publications

Where to Add Actions in Human-in-the-Loop Reinforcement Learning
Travis Mandel, Yun-En Liu, Emma Brunskill, Zoran Popović.
AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) 2017.

Efficient Bayesian Clustering for Reinforcement Learning
Travis Mandel, Yun-En Liu, Emma Brunskill, Zoran Popović.
International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) 2016.

Offline Evaluation of Online Reinforcement Learning Algorithms
Travis Mandel, Yun-En Liu, Emma Brunskill, Zoran Popović.
AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) 2016.

The Queue Method: Handling Delay, Heuristics, Prior Data, and Evaluation in Bandits
Travis Mandel, Yun-En Liu, Emma Brunskill, Zoran Popović.
AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) 2015.

Offline Policy Evaluation Across Representations with Applications to Educational Games
Travis Mandel, Yun-En Liu, Sergey Levine, Emma Brunskill, Zoran Popović.
Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS) 2014.

Practical Error Correction for Resource-Constrained Wireless Networks: Unlocking the Full Power of the CRC
Travis Mandel, Jens Mache.
ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys) 2013.

Other Publications

Building Out Data Science at Small Colleges
Travis Mandel, Jens Mache, Richard Weiss, Peter Drake.
Poster at ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) 2018.

Examining PhD Student Interest in Teaching: An Analysis of 19 Years of Historical Data
Travis Mandel, Jens Mache.
Poster at ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) 2017.

Crowdsourcing Accurate and Creative Word Problems and Hints
Yvonne Chen, Travis Mandel, Yun-En Liu, Zoran Popović.
AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing (HCOMP) 2016.

Developing a Short Undergraduate Introduction to Online Machine Learning
Travis Mandel, Jens Mache
Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, Volume 32, Number 1. 2016.

Nonstationary Evaluation for Reinforcement Learning
Travis Mandel, Yun-En Liu, Emma Brunskill, Zoran Popović.
Reinforcement Learning and Decision Making (RLDM) 2015.

Trading Off Scientic Knowledge and User Learning with Multi-Armed Bandits
Yun-En Liu, Travis Mandel, Emma Brunskill, Zoran Popović.
Educational Data Mining (EDM) 2014.

Towards Automatic Experimentation of Educational Knowledge
Yun-En Liu, Travis Mandel, Emma Brunskill, Zoran Popović.
Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) 2014.
Honorable Mention

Unbiased Offline Evaluation of Policy Representations for Educational Games
Travis Mandel, Yun-En Liu, Sergey Levine, Emma Brunskill, Zoran Popović.
Data Driven Education Workshop, Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) 2013.

Predicting Player Moves in an Educational Game: A Hybrid Approach
Yun-En Liu, Travis Mandel, Eric Butler, Erik Andersen, Eleanor O'Rourke, Emma Brunskill, Zoran Popović.
Educational Data Mining (EDM) 2013.
Best Paper Nomination.

ContextType: Using Hand Posture Information to Improve Mobile Touch Screen Text Entry
Mayank Goel, Alex Jansen, Travis Mandel, Shwetak N. Patel, Jacob O. Wobbrock
Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) 2013.

Investigating CRC Polynomials that Correct Burst Errors
Travis Mandel, Jens Mache
International Conference on Wireless Networks (ICWN) 2009.

Selected CRC Polynomials Can Correct Errors and Thus Reduce Retranmission
Travis Mandel, Jens Mache
Workshop on Information Theory for Sensor Networks (WITS), International Conference on Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems (DCOSS) 2009.

Sensor Network Security: Elliptic Curve Cryptography on SunSPOTs
Jens Mache, Samuel W. Bock, James Elwell, Dennis P. Gosnell, Travis Mandel, Jonathan S. Perry-Houts
International Conference on Wireless Networks (ICWN) 2008.