Every other week we spotlight an OMSCS TA, so you can get to know who's behind the screen. Here are four questions for Tim Bail, who is a TA for CS 7642: Reinforcement Learning.
What do you do professionally?
I am currently the software product development manager for Huntington Ingalls Industries, Unmanned Systems. I have worked on autonomous systems for over 14 years. I am responsible for overseeing all of software development as well as planning the current roadmaps for our software products to help drive innovation and advancement of the systems. My primary focus is autonomous behaviors incorporating machine learning and AI. I work on a variety of unmanned systems including ground vehicles, boats, underwater vehicles, and aerial vehicles.
Why do you TA for OMSCS?
I really enjoy giving back to such a great program that can open doors to a lot of students. It is very rewarding to help introducing students to the machine learning and all its possible applications. I also believe that by teaching a subject you help further enhance your understanding of the subject as well as keeping you current with the field and new techniques.
What's your advice for future students in OMSCS?
My best advice would be to not hesitate to venture out of your norm when selecting classes in OMSCS. You should always try exploring new areas of computer science. When I started OMSCS, I did not know much about machine learning and had not really thought much about it as a career path. After taking Machine Learning with Professors Isbell and Littman, I was hooked on the subject and have pursued ever since then.
What's your preferred programming language, and why?
I prefer Python as my primary programming language. There are so many great machine learning and data analytical libraries for it that it really makes it the best choice when working on projects involving machine learning. It also has a syntax and structure that is very intuitive and easy to learn.