Spencer M. Richards

Spencer is a Ph.D. student in the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department. Currently, he focuses on learning-based control for robotic systems. He works to create agents that learn safely and efficiently in the real world by leveraging tools from both control theory and machine learning. In general, he is interested in determining theoretic safety guarantees for dynamical systems, and how they translate into practice.

Previously, he completed his M.Sc. in Robotics, Systems, and Control at ETH Zürich, and his B.ASc. in Engineering Science (with a Major in Aerospace Engineering) at the University of Toronto. At ETH Zürich, he conducted his Master’s thesis on safe reinforcement learning with Felix Berkenkamp and Prof. Andreas Krause. He also worked on theory for mobility-on-demand systems with Claudio Ruch and Prof. Emilio Frazzoli. At the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS), he worked on state estimation for drones during his Bachelor’s thesis with Prof. Angela Schoellig. As an intern at Verity Studios, he developed autonomous flying machines for live entertainment with Prof. Raffaello D’Andrea.