Wenzhao Lian

I am currently a senior research scientist at Intrinsic, graduated from X, the moonshot factory (formerly Google[x]). I am interested in robotics and statistical machine learning.

Before joining X, I was a senior researcher and team lead at Vicarious, developing algorithms and systems for robotic manipluation tasks, which was deployed as the first product. In 2015, I received my Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, advised by Dr. Lawrence Carin, and Master's degree in Statistics, advised by Dr. David Dunson. I received my Bachelor's Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2011. In the year of 2013 and 2010, I went to Department of Mathematics at Yale University and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Virginia as a visiting student, respectively. My email is $LastName$FirstName@gmail.com.

Research Interests

I am interested in robotics and statistical machine learning, with a focus on the following topics.

  • Robotic manipulation problems (an old photo)
  • Time series, point processes
  • Statistical inference
  • Reinforcement learning


  • Wenzhao Lian, Tim Kelch, Dirk Holz, Adam Norton, Stefan Schaal, Benchmarking Off-The-Shelf Solutions to Robotic Assembly Tasks, To appear in International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2021
  • Jianlan Luo, Oleg Sushkov, Rugile Pevceviciute, Wenzhao Lian, Chang Su, Mel Vecerik, Ning Ye, Stefan Schaal, Jon Scholz, Robust Multi-Modal Policies for Industrial Assembly via Reinforcement Learning and Demonstrations: A Large-Scale Study, To appear in Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS), 2021
  • Zheng Wu, Wenzhao Lian, Vaibhav Unhelkar, Masayoshi Tomizuka, Stefan Schaal, Learning Dense Rewards for Contact-Rich Manipulation Tasks, Proceedings of International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2021
  • Peter A. Zachares, Michelle A. Lee, Wenzhao Lian, Jeannette Bohg, Interpreting Contact Interactions to Overcome Failure in Robot Assembly Tasks, Proceedings of International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2021
  • Wenzhao Lian, Ricardo Henao, Vinayak Rao, Joseph Locus, Lawrence Carin, A Multitask Point Process Predictive Model,( Appendix ) In Proceedings of the International Conference on Machine Learning, 2015
  • Wenzhao Lian, Piyush Rai, Esther Salazar, Lawrence Carin, Integrating Features and Similarities: Flexible Models for Heterogeneous Multiview Data, ( Appendix ) Proceedings of the Twenty-Ninth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 2015
  • Evan X. Chen, Wenzhao Lian, Lawrence Carin, David Brady, Task-driven Adaptive Sensing on Quadrupole Mass Filter Systems for Classification, Computational Optical Sensing and Imaging, 2015
  • Kyle Ulrich, David Carlson, Wenzhao Lian, Jana Borg, Kafui Dzirasa, Lawrence Carin, Analysis of Brain States from Multi-Region LFP Time-Series, ( Appendix ) Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems, 2014
  • Esther Salazar, Yuliya Nikolova, Wenzhao Lian, Piyush Rai, Adrienne L. Romer, Ahmad R. Hariri, and Lawrence Carin, A Bayesian Framework for Multi-Modality Analysis of Mental Health, ( Appendix ) submitted
  • Piyush Rai, Wenzhao Lian, Lawrence Carin, Bayesian Multitask Distance Metric Learning, NIPS Workshop on Transfer and Multi-Task Learning: Theory meets Practice, 2014
  • Makoto Yamada, Wenzhao Lian, Amit Goyal, Jianhui Chen, Kishan Wimalawarne, Suleiman A Khan, Samuel Kaski, Hiroshi Mamitsuka, Yi Chang, Convex factorization machine for toxicogenomics prediction, Proceedings of the 23rd ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining
  • Wenzhao Lian, Piyush Rai, Esther Salazar, Lawrence Carin, Bayesian Multiview Factor Modeling for Integrating and Analyzing Heterogeneous Clinical Data, NIPS Workshop on Machine Learning for Clinical Data Analysis, Healthcare and Genomics, 2014
  • Wenzhao Lian, Vinayak Rao, Brian Eriksson, Lawrence Carin, Modeling Correlated Arrival Events with Latent Semi-Markov Processes, ( Appendix ) (Code) In Proceedings of the International Conference on Machine Learning, 2014
  • Wenzhao Lian, Ronen Talmen, Hitten Zaveri, Lawrence Carin, Ronald Coifman, Multivariate Time-Series Analysis and Diffusion Maps, Signal Processing, 2015, vol. 116, pp. 13-28
  • David E. Carlson, Joshua T. Vogelstein, Qisong Wu, Wenzhao Lian, Mingyuan Zhou, Colin R. Stoetzner, Daryl Kipke, Douglas Weber, David B. Dunson and Lawrence Carin, Sorting Electrophysiological Data via Dictionary Learning & Mixture Modeling, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. July, 2013

    Working Experience

  • Senior Research Scientist at Google X, Mountain View, CA, Aug. 2019 to Present
  • Senior Researcher at Vicarious, San Francisco, CA, Jan. 2016 to Aug. 2019
  • Research intern at Yahoo Labs, Sunnyvale, CA, Jun. to Sept. 2015
  • Research intern at Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA, May to Aug. 2014
  • Research intern at Technicolor Research Center, Palo Alto, CA, Jun. to Aug. 2013

    Teaching Experience

  • STA571, Advanced Machine Learning, Spring 2015
  • STA561/CS571, Probabilistic Machine Learning, Fall 2013