I am a faculty member at the University of Southern California (USC), Department of Computer Science. I also hold a joint appointment at the Department of Biological Science. (I am currently on leave at UCLA, and will return to USC in Janunary 2017.)

My research interest is statistical machine learning. My objective is to advance principled statistical methods and algorithms, driven by real-world applications for building intelligent and autonomous systems as well as understanding intelligence. For details, please check out my research and publication pages.


Starting Janunary 2017, I will also be a faculty member of USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience and a member of Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC.

I am actively recruiting talented postdoctoral researchers, graduate and undergraduate research assistants. If you are interested in joining my research group, please contact me.

Academic Positions

  • Present 2017

    Associate Professor

    U. of Southern California, Dept. of Computer Science

  • 2016 2015

    Associate Professor

    Samueli Fellow

    U. of California (Los Angeles), Dept. of Computer Science

  • 2015 2014

    Associate Professor

    Jack Munushian Early Career Chair

    U. of Southern California, Dept. of Computer Science

  • 2014 2008

    Assistant Professor

    Jack Munushian Early Career Chair

    U. of Southern California, Dept. of Computer Science

  • 2007 2006

    Postdoctoral Researcher

    U. of California (Berkeley), Dept. of Computer Science

Education & Training

  • Ph.D. 2007

    Computer and Information Science

    U. of Pennsylvania

  • M. Sc.1993

    Biomedical Engineering

    Southeast University ( Nanjing, China)

  • B. Sc.1990

    Biomedical Engineering

    Southeast University (Nanjing, China)

I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.

Honors and Awards

  • 2013
    Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship
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    The Sloan Research Fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. These two-year fellowships are awarded yearly to 126 researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.
  • 2012
    Army Research Office (ARO) Young Investigator Award
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    The objective of the YIP is to attract to Army research outstanding young university faculty members, to support their research, and to encourage their teaching and research careers. This program is open to U.S. citizens, Nationals, and resident aliens holding tenure-track positions at U.S. universities and colleges, who have held their graduate degrees (Ph.D. or equivalent) for fewer than five years at the time of application.
  • 2010
    DARPA Computer Science Study Group
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    The Computer Science Study Group (CSSG) supports university research in a number of I2O research focus areas in computer science and related fields. The goal is to enable the development of transformational technologies in these areas while informing a new generation of researchers of Department of Defense (DoD) computer science technology needs and priorities. The CSSG funds the participation of a select group of pre-tenure university professors in a multi-phase program of educational and research activities based on interaction with current and former senior DoD military and Government personnel.
  • 2006
    NIPS 2006 Outstanding Paper Award
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  • 2004
    ICML Outstanding Student Paper Award
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Visualizing my Chinese name: Flying Sand (Credit: http://abduzeedo.com.br/ )

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(This is how it is supposed to be written.)