Chris Cha is trying new things

i’m a first year master’s student at UC San Diego, currently focusing on the intersection between machine learning and human-computer interaction. i’m mainly interested in data science, natural language processing, and human-centered healthcare.

i like retro hardware and i think that moray eels are cool. i also consume a lot of media so if you found something neat to watch or read, you should message me!

this website is a work in progress. i’m still learning React and webdev is hard!

crab by tkmiz

Work Experience

EMD Electronics (Merck KGaA)

06/2022 - Present

Machine Learning/Software Engineering Intern

  • Focusing on applying and deploying machine learning models to semiconductor chemistry research.
  • Used AWS EC2 and S3 to train a variational autoencoder to map semiconductor precursors to a latent space.
  • Applied a sparse dataset of less than 1,000 molecules to a latent space and an 85% accuracy of mapping a chemical to the space and getting back the original molecule, as well as a 99% validity of the entire latent space.
  • Created web interfaces of Pytorch and SKlearn models using React.js and Node.js.
  • Optimized existing chemical similarity code bases by reducing I/O usage by 90% and improving runtime by 25%.

San Diego Supercomputer Center

03/2022 - 12/2022

Graduate Researcher

  • Currently assuming responsibility over a relation extraction project related to biology papers.
  • Used Kubernetes and Docker to schedule and run Python scripts.
  • Performed relation extraction on the DrugProt and ChemProt datasets using Pytorch.
  • Began compatibility migration to run model training and inference on Intel Habana Goya and Gaudi AI accelerators.

Research Experience

The Design Lab

06/2021 - 02/2022

Research/Development Intern

  • Focused on Human Computer Interaction and natural language processing systems.
  • Created an idea dataset collection system using GraphQL and Python.
  • Processed metadata text using Spacy and NLTK and created a dataset (11,000+ unique items) using Pandas and MongoDB.
  • Implemented a semantic metadata comparison using SentenceTransformers (BERT) in order to return related ideas.
  • Developed and hosted the metadata comparison model using Flask and Nginx.

Scripps Institute

12/2020 - 01/2022

Natural Language Processing Researcher

  • Applied natural language processing techniques to 161 national climate action plans.
  • Cleaned and labeled documents using BeautifulSoup in Python.
  • Extracted latent information and comparing them to a number of country characteristics using statistical models such as Latent Dirichlet allocation and TF-IDF.
  • Trained language models (BERT) in PyTorch to create labels and create skill metrics.

Kastner Research Group

08/2020 - 06/2021

Embedded Medcal Systems Researcher

  • Improved ventilator control by integrating remote control telemedicine technology to ICU-style ventilators.
  • Shadowed doctors and researched ventilator use cases to develop a better UI/UX for ease of use by physicians.
  • Developed control algorithm for automatic weening trials and extubation success of patients.
  • Coordinated tasks and meeting with various groups, members, and international contacts and recruited student researchers.
  • Configured and maintained prototype ventilator for sensor testing and calibration using artificial lungs.



05/2020 - Present

Technical Event Director

  • Organized and present workshops to 400+ members for 2020‑2022 school year.
  • Created workshops focusing on programming languages (APL and LaTeX) and research skills.
  • Partnered with Women in Computing @ UCSD to teach underrepresented high schoolers technical skills.
  • Lead a shadowing program with 10+ members to teach presentation skills and create workshops.

NanoEngineering and Technology Society

06/2022 - Present

Operations Consultant

  • Maintained various web/server related content for the organization.
  • Advised workshops and career focused events for the 2022-2023 year.

CS foreach

03/2022 - 06/2022

TritonHacks Executive Operations Manager

  • Managed and coordinated student workshops for hackathon.
  • Coordinated with other student organizations for outreach programs.
  • Managed social activities in various official forums.
  • Consulted general management and operations of event.
  • Managed recruiting and interviewing of potential staff and directors.


04/2021 - 06/2022

Event Director

  • Developed workshops and resources focusing on neural networks and natural language processing.
  • Hosted an intro to research workshop teaching new students how to get into a computing research lab.
  • Mentored and taught a projects team AI fundamentals and packages such as Pytorch and Pandas.

Envision Makerspace

10/2019 - 10/2020

Event Director

  • Repaired and maintained tools and machines such as 3D printers, oscilloscopes, and other lab equipment.
  • Coordinated with volunteer staff to provide makerspace access and support to hundreds of engineering students.
  • Assisted in workshop presentation and student training, teaching members how to use tools and software.
  • I made a lot of stickers, and ended up with a cool sticker board.

Sticker board I made a while back. I thought it was cool!