I am Akansha, a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where I was fortunately advised by Prof. David Irwin. I am broadly interested in applying AI, Explainable AI (XAI) methods on remote sensing data to solve problems related to social good, sustainability, and climate change.

My doctoral thesis covers data-driven approaches for control, modeling and, forecasting for solar-powered residences. I have explored multispectral satellite data for better modeling and forecasting of solar generation for residential homes. Recently, I have been working on using remote sensing + ML for more applications.

Work Experience:

Research Intern - GeoAI group @Oak Ridge National Labs, Tennessee, June-August 2021

Research Assistant - School of Computer Science & Engineering - NTU, Singapore, 2014-2015 (Pre-Ph.D. Gap Year)


Ph.D. in Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst, September 2015 - October 2021

M.S. by Research in Information Technology, IIIT- Bangalore (India), 2011-2014

B.Tech in Computer Science, MDU Rohtak (India), 2007-2011




I successfully passed my Ph.D. thesis defense on 18th October'21 !! Yayyyyyy

Our paper "Self-Supervised Learning on Multispectral Satellite Data for Near-Term Solar Forecasting" got accepted in ICML Workshop on Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning'21.

Super excited to be spending the Summer'21 researching at the GeoAI group, Oak Ridge National Labs!

I won third prize in the ECE 3-Minute Thesis (3MT)'21 Competition at UMass Amherst.

Serving as TPC member for FATEsys'21.

I passed my Ph.D. Dissertation Proposal titled, "Data-Driven Control, Modeling, and Forecasting for Residential Solar Power", at UMass Amherst.

I won second prize in the Lightning Talks Competition during the 2020 Energy Data Analytics Symposium! Check the talk here, and the media coverage on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook.

Check out the media coverage by UMass and UMass IPO on the Duke Data Analytics talk.

Our Paper "See the Light: Modeling Solar Performance using Multispectral Satellite Data", received honorable mention under best presentation award in ACM Buildsys'20

Our Paper "See the Light: Modeling Solar Performance using Multispectral Satellite Data", Akansha Singh Bansal and David Irwin got accepted in ACM Buildsys'20.

Our Paper "Exploiting Satellite Data for Solar Performance Modeling", Akansha Singh Bansal and David Irwin got accepted in IEEE Smartgridcomm'20.

I am teaching an undergraduate first-year seminar course at UMass Amherst this Fall'2020 titled - "Staring at the Sun: An Introduction to Solar Energy".

I am attending Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC'19) at Orlando, Florida - (October 1 - October 4' 2019).

I will be presenting our paper (On the Feasibility, Cost, and Carbon Emissions of Grid Defection) at IEEE Smartgridcomm'19 in Beijing, China - (October 20 - October 24' 2019).


I was born and grew up in India. I am married to Trapit Bansal.

Apart from research, I am a board game and video game enthusiast. I also doodle and post under the name Phd_girl.