Vasanth Sarathy

Senior Researcher
vsarathy at sift dot net

Ph.D., Computer Science and Cognitive Science, Tufts University

J.D., Law, Boston University School of Law

M.S., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Arkansas

Dr. Sarathy is a SIFT Research Scientist specializing in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). His interests span several areas including knowledge representation and reasoning, symbolic planning for single-agent and multi-agent domains, reinforcement learning, natural language processing, computational creativity, cognitive architectures, and ethics and normative factors. These areas come together when autonomous systems must engage in collaborative creative problem solving: solving problems unanticipated by the human designer, and generating and communicating out-of-the-box but socially-acceptable ideas. Dr. Sarathy was selected as the Grand Prize Winner of the NSF 2026 Idea Machine Competition and established Creative Problem Solving as an NSF research priority. He has published and presented his work at several top venues including AAAI, HRI, KR, CogSci, and ACS.  

He adopts a multidisciplinary approach that involves formalizing and extending, in mathematical terms, theories from social and cognitive sciences, and building human-aware and interactive systems.  Before joining SIFT, Dr. Sarathy conducted research with the Human-Robot Interaction Laboratory at Tufts University.  He received the John and Dorothy Adams Graduate Fellowship to support his dissertation research on designing AI systems capable of representing human moral and social norms and using norms to understand natural language. Dr. Sarathy is also a licensed attorney in the State of Massachusetts and practiced Intellectual Property law for nearly a decade at the law firm of Ropes & Gray. 

His publications can be found here at Google Scholar