Joewie J. Koh
Joewie J. Koh
PhD Student

About Me

I work primarily on problems at the intersection of robotics and reinforcement learning (RL). Currently, I’m working on multi-agent RL for cooperative control of multi-robot systems. I’m also interested in developing techniques for improving the sample efficiency of model-free RL, especially in the context of robot learning. Before starting the doctoral program at CU Boulder, I worked at a Denver-based startup applying techniques from the latest research in natural language processing to challenges in cybersecurity and legal informatics.

I spent the first two decades of my life in Singapore, but uprooted to the United States for college. In between these two places, I spent half a year living and studying in Russia following an edge-to-edge overland traversal of Europe. But I digress. Drawn to the mountains, I moved to Colorado after my graduation from Reed College. I’ve been here since.

Like almost everyone in Boulder, I enjoy running, hiking, snowboarding, and, well, bouldering.


Master of Science in Computer Science

Specialization in Machine Learning
I pursued my master's degree concurrently with full-time employment. I also satisfied the requirements for the specialization in interactive intelligence.

Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics

Concentration in Computer Science
My senior thesis was titled "Algorithms for the Computation of Delaunay Triangulations", advised by Jim Fix. Somehow or other, I found myself completing all the required coursework for the physics major as well.


Feb 2019 - Present

Boulder, CO, United States

Graduate Research Assistant

University of Colorado Boulder
I perform robotics research in the HIRO Group and mentor a few of the undergraduate students in the group.

Aug 2019 - Present

Boulder, CO, United States

Graduate Teaching Assistant

University of Colorado Boulder
In Spring 2020, I was a TA for the senior capstone course (CSCI 4318), mentoring seven teams working on real-world projects. Previously, in Fall 2019, I was a TA for the introductory computer science course (CSCI 1300). In that course, I graded assignments and taught weekly recitations for a class of 48 students, in addition to holding weekly office hours.

Oct 2017 - Jan 2019

Denver, CO, United States

Machine Learning Engineer

Optfit LLC
I worked at a Denver-based startup, where I built scalable machine learning solutions leveraging cloud computing for problems in cybersecurity and legal informatics. I was also the project lead for NLP engineering, and held a Professional Data Engineer certification from Google Cloud.

Sep 2013 - May 2017

Portland, OR, United States

Operations Supervisor

Reed Research Reactor
As the Operations Supervisor, I was the most senior supervisor on staff at the research reactor. Before this appointment, I served as the Requalification Supervisor for a year. In this role, I was solely responsible for the facility requalification program which assured continued competence of facility staff in reactor operation. I was licensed as a Reactor Operator and a Senior Reactor Operator by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Apr 2011 - Dec 2012


Battalion Deputy Manpower Officer, 1st Army Maintenance Base

Singapore Armed Forces
I was a Lieutenant in the Singapore Army. As the Deputy S1 of my battalion, I assisted the manpower officer in overseeing the manpower and HR matters of the battalion. Prior to this, I attended Officer Cadet School at the SAFTI Military Institute.


Nov 2019 - Present

Boulder, CO, United States

Graduate Student Mentor

McNair Scholars Program, University of Colorado Boulder

Apr 2020

Fort Collins, CO, United States

Grand Awards Judge

2020 Colorado Science & Engineering Fair (CSEF)

Jan 2019 - Apr 2019

Englewood, CO, United States

Teaching Volunteer

Microsoft Philanthropies TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools)
I taught AP Computer Science at Englewood High School twice a week.



IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)

Las Vegas, NV, United States, October 25-29

Cooperative Control of Mobile Robots with Stackelberg Learning [PDF] [BIB]

Joewie J. Koh*, Guohui Ding*, Christoffer Heckman, Lijun Chen, Alessandro Roncone

International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS)

Auckland, New Zealand, May 9-13

Distributed Reinforcement Learning for Cooperative Multi-Robot Object Manipulation [PDF] [BIB]

Guohui Ding*, Joewie J. Koh*, Kelly Merckaert, Bram Vanderborght, Marco M. Nicotra, Christoffer Heckman, Alessandro Roncone, Lijun Chen
Extended Abstract


IEEE International Conference on Big Data

Seattle, WA, United States, December 10-15

Inline Detection of Domain Generation Algorithms with Context-Sensitive Word Embeddings

Joewie J. Koh, Barton Rhodes


Reed College

Portland, OR, United States, May 15

Algorithms for the Computation of Delaunay Triangulations

Joewie J. Koh
B.A. Thesis


Summer 2020

University of Colorado Boulder

CSCI 7000 (Deep Reinforcement Learning and Robotics)

Graduate Student Staff

Spring 2020

University of Colorado Boulder

CSCI 4318 (Software Engineering Project 2)

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Fall 2019

University of Colorado Boulder

CSCI 1300 (Computer Science 1: Starting Computing)

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Fall 2015

Reed College

PHYS 331 (Advanced Laboratory I)

Teaching Assistant

2014 - 2017

Reed College

Lower-Division Physics and Statistics

Peer Tutor


Program Committee Member

  • Human-Robot Interaction Pioneers Workshop2020

Journal Reviewer

  • Cognitive Systems Research2019, 2020
  • IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L)2019

Conference Reviewer

  • ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI)2020
  • IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)2020

Institutional Service

  • Computer Science Departmental Action Team2019, 2020