My name is Sunaya Shivakumar.
I'm a


A little something about me.


My interests include machine learning, and human computer interaction. I'm currently involved in research at the Siebel Center for Computer Science, and am exploring the intersection of computing and design. I also occasionally dabble in fine art and design.

Projects that I've worked on.


  • The Elements of Fashion Style - Proc. UIST '16

    The outfits people wear contain latent fashion concepts capturing styles, seasons, events, and environments. Fashion theorists have proposed that these concepts are shaped by design elements such as color, material, and silhouette. While a dress may be “bohemian” because of its pattern, material, trim, or some combination thereof, it is not always clear how low-level elements translate to high-level styles. In this paper, we use polylingual topic modeling to learn latent fashion concepts jointly in two languages capturing these elements and styles. This latent topic formulation enables translation between languages through topic space, exposing the elements of fashion style. The model is trained on a set of more than half a million outfits collected from Polyvore, a popular fashion-based social network. We present novel, data-driven fashion applications that allow users to express their desires in natural language just as they would to a real stylist, and produce tailored item recommendations for their fashion needs. Read more here.

  • What Makes a Cuisine Unique?

    There are many different national and cultural cuisines from around the world, but what makes each of them unique? We try to answer that question by making use of multinomial logistic regression model to learn and predict unique cuisine styles. Furthermore, we attempt to identify fusion-cuisines that are borne of two or more distinct cuisine styles, using k-means clustering. Results demonstrate that cuisines are too diverse to predict with very high accuracies – which may have led to the creation of fusion-cuisines. Read more here.

  • Novel Ideas - Web application

    Novel Ideas is a virtual book club. It is a responsive web application that fosters and promotes book-loving communities to keep reading good books, and keep track of their favorites. Users can search for books, add reviews and ratings, and follow other users to get inspired on what books to read next. Interact with it here.

  • Disease Alert - Android application

    Disease Alert is a proposed mobile application prototype that provides a general overview of nearby disease outbreaks by means of an interactive map and a list of relevant news articles. It is designed to provide immediate notifications relating to serious disease outbreaks in the user's vicinity, and raise awareness about disease outbreaks around the globe.

  • This Website - Web application

    A personal website constructed as part of a design class project.

Selected artwork.


  • Lilies of the Desert - Watercolor on paper.

  • Reflected Motion - Watercolor on paper.

  • Ballet Practice - Watercolor on paper.

  • The King's Hunt - Charcoal on paper.

  • Perfect Landing - Watercolor on paper.

  • Unnamed - Watercolor on paper.