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Gita Sukthankar
Studies social computational systems and applied machine learning

Gita Sukthankar Associate Professor

Dept of Computer Science
Office: Harris Engineering Ctr, Room 232

She is Also:

Director of the Intelligent Agents Lab at UCF

I'm very excited about melding models of machine learning with human cognition to create proactive assistant agents and robots that can collaborate with humans in socially intelligent ways.


Sukthankar’s research focuses on artificial intelligence and applied machine learning, specifically in the area of social intelligence. Her work aims to give computers higher-level cognitive functions traditionally associated with humans, including planning, decision-making and understanding and managing social interactions. One of her focus areas examines one of the most important aspects of these human abilities: the ability to understand and predict the actions of other humans in the environment, known as activity recognition.

Societal Impact

Because Sukthankar’s areas of expertise lie in AI and machine learning, her work has far-reaching impacts in a number of fields. One research project funded by Lockheed Martin, aimed at creating better training and simulation for its pilots, uses machine learning to assess a pilot’s competence in various areas. Another funded by DARPA studies behavior on social media platforms GitHub, Reddit and Twitter predicts future activity by studying past data. Sukthankar’s latest project, also funded by DARPA, studies the behavior of human teams in Minecraft with the goal of creating a software agent that has a computational theory of mind that can watch what the players are doing, understand what they’re doing, and eventually participate in group construction projects.

Graduate Students and Achievements

Sukthankar has graduated eleven Ph.D. students, including an assistant professor at the University of Delaware and others who have gone on to Amazon, Google, Lockheed Martin and SoarTech.


Ph.D. from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon

M.S. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon

B.A. in Psychology from Princeton University

Featured Video

Courses She Teaches

CAP 5610 Machine Learning

EEL 4660 Robotics Systems


Intelligent Agents Lab at UCF

Discoveries/Publication Highlights

Two books edited by Dr. Sukthankar:

Plan, Activity, and Intent Recognition  Editors: Gita Sukthankar, Robert Goldman, Chris Geib, David Pynadath, Hung Bui. Morgan Kaufmann 2014.

Social Interactions in Virtual Worlds  Editors: Kiran Lakkaraju, Gita Sukthankar, Rolf T. Wigand. Cambridge University Press 2018

Visit Sukthankar's Google Scholar Page


St. George’s School John B. Diman Alumni Award (2017)
UCF Reach for the Stars (2015)
UCF Research Incentive Award (2013)
CECS Dean’s Research Professorship Award (2013)
UCF Faculty Excellence for Doctoral Mentoring (Engineering and Sciences) (2012)
CECS Distinguished Researcher (2011)
Charles N. Millican Faculty Fellow (2010, 2012)
AFOSR Young Investigator (2009)
ONR Summer Faculty Fellow (2008)