by Séb Arnold, October 4, 2017

I am a doctoral student in the Theoretical and Emprical Data Science Lab supervised by Fei Sha. My reserch topic lies at the intersection of optimization and reinforcement learning.

I did my undergraduate at the University of Southern California, double majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. My research focused on machine learning, distributed systems, and mathematical optimization.

I also like skiing (a lot).

[Contact, Resume]

Me and motorcycle hair



PyTorch Distributed Tutorial

I just published an official tutorial on the distributed package of PyTorch. Thanks to the community for their help in answering my questions ! [Tutorial]

ICLR17 Workshop submission

Together with Prof. Chunming Wang, we submitted a workshop paper presenting our work on second-order optimization for distributed deep learning to ICLR17. Update: It was accepted! [Link]

SoCal Robotics Symposium

Together with Ewina Pun and Théo Denisart, we will be presenting Shapechanger - our Environments for Transfer Learning - at the SoCal Robotics Symposium.

Open-Sourcing Shapechanger

We open-sourced some environments for robotic transfer learning on OpenAI Gym. [GitHub Repo, Website]


Shapechanger: Environments for Transfer Learning

S. Arnold, E. Pun, T. Denisart, F. Valero-Cuevas, 2017, SoCal Robotics Symposium [ArXiv, pdf, website]

Accelerating SGD for Distributed Deep Learning Using an Approximated Hessian Matrix

S. Arnold, C. Wang, 2017, ICLR Workshop [ArXiv, pdf]

A Performance Comparison between TRPO and CEM for Reinforcement Learning

S. Arnold, E. Chu, F. Valero-Cuevas, 2016, SoCal ML Symposium

A Greedy Algorithm to Cluster Specialists

S. Arnold, 2016, ArXiv Pre-prints [ArXiv, pdf]



Randopt is a python package to streamline the search for good hyper-parameters. It provides a programmatic interface to serialize, choose, and visualize hyper-parameters and results. [GitHub Repo, Blog Post]


A tool to convert markdown files into beautiful LaTeX docs and web pages. A work in progress. [Web Demo, PDF Examples]

Quantum Opt

Comparing the performance of simulated annealing against a simulation of adiabatic quantum computing on Ising problems. [GitHub Repo]


Simply the best skiing website ever ? [Website]