About Me

Welcome to my homepage! I am a lecturer in the Computer Science Department, situated under the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), at Columbia University. This semester (Fall 2019), I am teaching Artificial Intelligence (COMS 4701). I am also an academic advisor for Columbia College sophomores intending to major in CS; please feel free to reach out by email for an appointment.

As a lecturer, my energies are primarily focused on teaching and refining my courses, advising undergraduate students, and pursuing inquiries in technical education. A development in which I am actively involved is the streamlining of the math requirements for the CS major. All CS students, both in CC and SEAS, will eventually be required to complete a linear algebra and probability curriculum within the CS department to better prepare for more quantitative courses later on, such as machine learning. The latter subject will be incorporated into our Discrete Mathematics course (COMS 3203), while the former will be taught under a revived course, Computational Linear Algebra (COMS 3251), starting in Spring 2020.

Other activities include having been a faculty advisor for ADI Labs in Spring 2019, a current member of the Academic Committee in the CS Department, and faculty director of a new “bridge to CS” MS program, currently under development.

I also advise a small number of undergraduate and MS students on independent-study or research projects. These projects have ranged from geometric control of robotic locomotion (continuing from my graduate research work) to incorporating deep reinforcement learning for locomotion tasks to developing lesson plans and assessments for potential new courses.

Important: If you are not a Columbia student, please do not contact me about research opportunities. I do not have the resources to support or sponsor students from other institutions. Furthermore, even if you are a Columbia student, I prefer that you take a course with me before reaching out about possible projects. Unlike many faculty, I don’t have a list of ongoing projects; most of my students come up with project ideas on their own and mainly look to me for feedback and suggestions rather than a specific direction.

Background

My hometown is San Francisco, CA, USA. Depending on how you count, I am a first- or second-generation immigrant; my parents both immigrated from Guangdong, China. I lived in the Bay Area until I received my B.S. from UC Berkeley in EECS in 2012. I subsequently moved to Pittsburgh, PA, to study in The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, from which I received my M.S. in 2015 and Ph.D. in 2018 under the advisement of Dr. Howie Choset.