New Faculty Focus: Yingyu Liang
Title: Assistant Professor
Hometown: Pingnan, China.
Educational/professional background: Ph.D. in Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology; B.S. in Computer Science, Tsinghua University, 2008.
Previous position: Associate Research Scholar in Computer Science, Princeton University.
How did you get into your field of research? I’ve been attracted by the idea of artificial intelligence since I was a child. The research field of machine learning has made great progress towards realizing the fascinating dream of building intelligent machines, and that is why I’ve chosen it.
What attracted you to UW–Madison? I was attracted by the strong reputation of the Department of Computer Science, and the great research in my field in the department and across the campus. The Wisconsin Institute of Discovery also provides great opportunities to do interdisciplinary research.
What was your first visit to campus like? Wonderful! I had great meetings with faculty members here, learned a lot about the department and the University, and enjoyed a tour around the campus.
Favorite place on campus? Coffee shop in the Discovery building. Great coffee and tea.
What are you most enjoying so far about working here? The most enjoyable part would be talking and collaborating with people with various backgrounds and great ideas.
What’s something interesting about your area of expertise you can share that will make us sound smarter at parties? Machine learning techniques have enabled us to build smarter and smarter devices and thus found many applications in different scenarios. Some of them are quite unexpected. For example, people are using machine learning methods for natural languages to translate obscure legalese in contracts into plain language and help attorneys explore large volumes of documents for a case.
Hobbies/other interests: Running, badminton, and classical poetry