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Julia Di

Artist & Engineer

Bio

I'm Julia Di, an artist, writer, science communicator, and robotics student.

I'm currently a Ph.D. student in the Biomimetic & Dexterous Manipulation Laboratory at Stanford University, advised by Mark Cutkosky. For my Ph.D. I am improving the interaction capabilities of robots. But my goal in life is to explore the intersection of art with technology, and social good with technology.

You can find my full C.V. pdf here, or my one-page resume pdf here.

Prior to coming to Stanford, I grew up in small-town Maryland about an hour away from D.C. Fun fact — I lived next to a horse farm and I'm allergic to horses. I mostly spent my K-12 years honing my art and writing skills. I also learned to play a traditional Chinese instrument, the guzheng.

In the past I have worked on NASA robots, an X-plane, and satellites; I've also hiked a sulphur volcano and jumped out of a plane. I have been very grateful to receive the 2020 Interact Fellowship, 2019 Threshold Ventures Fellowship, NSF Graduate Fellowhsip (declined), 2018 Brooke Owens Fellowship, and 2017 AIAA 20 Twenties Laureate. I received my B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University in 2018, where I started the Columbia Space Initiative and was very active on campus as a student leader.

News

The latest news!

>> Past
  • 29 July 2019 | Link here: Interviewed as a #STEMStory for Geeky Girl Reality!

Publications

Most recent publications on Google Scholar.
indicates equal contribution.

From the Lab Notebook: Observations on Tactile Sensing for Robotic Manipulation

Julia Di

Robotics: Science and Systems (2020)

Rapid Mission Concept Development at the 2019 Caltech Space Challenge: A Small Lander Network Studying the Habitability of Enceladus

Katiyayni Balachandran, Paolo Cappuccio, Julia Di, Kelsey Doerksen, Jared Fuchs, Alessia Gloder, Rebecca Jolitz, Monica Li, Dan Limonchik, Lotfi Massarweh, Atila Meszaros, Daniel Naftalovich, Erica Nathan, Thomas Peev, Marc Rovira-Navarro, Shreya Santra

3rd Symposium on Space Educational Activities.

Spyndra 1.0: An Open-Source Proprioceptive Robot for Studies in Machine Self-Awareness

Ori Kedar, Christie Capper, Yan-Song Chen, Zhaoyang Chen, Julia Di, Yonah Elzora, Lingjian Kong, Yuanxia Lee, Julian Oks, Jorge Orbay, Fabian Stute, Chad Tarpley, Joni Mici, and Hod Lipson

Pre-print.

Projects

A history of what I've done outside of the classroom / my job. Feel free to check out my projects on Instagram: tech projects, and art projects

Women of Aeronautics and Astronautics (non-profit)
A movement for marginalized genders in aerospace
Windchest
An interactive light and sound architectural landscape installation
Spyndra 1.0
An Open-Source Proprioceptive Robot for Studies in Machine Self-Awareness
DivHacks 2018
Columbia's first and only student-run hackathon for under-represented students
Columbia Space Initiative Projects
Started an organization that sends things to space and teaches others
Women of Aeronautics and Astronautics (non-profit)
A movement for marginalized genders in aerospace
DivHacks 2018
Columbia's first and only student-run hackathon for under-represented students
Columbia Space Initiative Projects
Started an organization that sends things to space and teaches others
Alginate Mold
For patients with critical limb ischemia
Windchest
An interactive light and sound architectural landscape installation
Stained Glass
A novice learns stained glass
Generating Art
Using generative adversarial networks to make art
3D-printing
A collection of 3D-printed art
Spyndra 1.0
An Open-Source Proprioceptive Robot for Studies in Machine Self-Awareness
Columbia Space Initiative Projects
Started an organization that sends things to space and teaches others
Alginate Mold
For patients with critical limb ischemia
Formula SAE
I was Vice President and an Electrical Engineer on this racecar
Generating Art
Using generative adversarial networks to make art
Spyndra 1.0
An Open-Source Proprioceptive Robot for Studies in Machine Self-Awareness
Women of Aeronautics and Astronautics (non-profit)
A movement for marginalized genders in aerospace
Windchest
An interactive light and sound architectural landscape installation
Stained Glass
A novice learns stained glass
Generating Art
Using generative adversarial networks to make art
Spyndra 1.0
An Open-Source Proprioceptive Robot for Studies in Machine Self-Awareness
DivHacks 2018
Columbia's first and only student-run hackathon for under-represented students
3D-printing
A collection of 3D-printed art
Columbia Space Initiative Projects
Started an organization that sends things to space and teaches others
Alginate Mold
For patients with critical limb ischemia
Formula SAE
I was Vice President and an Electrical Engineer on this racecar

Milestones

2020 is a year of reflection. Here is a timeline of things that were important to me these last five years.

  • AIAA March 2020
    Women of Aeronautics and Astronautics,
    Vice-Chair

    Back to doing what I love most:
    helping the next generation!
  • Stanford University January 2020
    Overcame grad school depression
    I had a rough first 1.5 years of grad school
  • Stanford University 2018 - now
    Ph.D. Student
    Turned down my dream lab
    to attend Stanford for personal reasons
  • Southeast Asia January 2018
    Backpacked through southeast Asia
    Was so much fun to do this
    before everyone scattered after college
  • Mountain View, CA Summer 2017
    Decided on pursuing grad school
    Also a pivotal summer where
    I met my first love from college
  • Columbia University Sep 2014 – May 2018
    Graduation (magna cum laude)
    B.S. in Electrical Engineering
    Minor: Computer Science
  • NASA MSFC Summer 2016
    Research Associate,
    Flight Robotics Laboratory

    This was my first robotics internship!
  • Columbia Space Initiative Sept. 27, 2015
    Co-Founder, Co-President
    Started an organization that defined my college years
  • Columbia University Spring 2015
    Decided to pursue engineering in college
    instead of writing and the arts

Site Acknowledgements

Adapted with permission using Martin Saveski's website template, available at this GitHub repo, and with help from Steven V. Miller's blog. The light mode toggler was inspired by Cassidy Williams' website, with core implementation from developerdrive.com.

Things are a bit buggy because I'm not a web developer by trade, so apologies for any browsing issues! All opinions on this site are my own and do not reflect my employer.