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Computer Engineer Focuses on Developing Smart Machines

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With research interests in artificial intelligence and industry experience, Yu Bai joined Cal State Fullerton this fall as an assistant professor of computer engineering. Before coming to campus, he worked as a software engineer at Siemens Energy Inc. He has authored more than 20 peer-reviewed technical articles and received several research grants from industry and government.

Bai earned his doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Central Florida. He also holds a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Texas-Pan American and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Ukraine National Aviation University.

What inspired you to go into your field and what was the defining moment?

When I was a young boy, I took cues from science-fiction movies that featured the future of robotics and artificial intelligence — machines that think like humans. I was fascinated that computer systems were able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. The huge milestone of my field was reached when AlphaGo, a computer program developed by Google DeepMind, defeated legendary Go, an ancient Chinese board game, player Lee Sedol in an historic match in Seoul, South Korea, last spring. At this moment, it confirmed my dream and my commitment to develop artificial intelligence hardware to benefit our human society.

What are your research interests?

It took a lot of hardware to perform the computations for the AlphaGo system to beat a human. My research interests are similar. Through my work, I focus on hardware implementation of artificial intelligence to make efficient smart machines that are involved in people’s lives.

How do you engage students in your classes and/or your research?

I enjoy advising students to correlate their interests with a real-life target. This dream-driven method may lead students to have a strong motivation in being involved in research.

What changes do envision in your field in the future?

My research field leverages emerging techniques to construct smart hardware inspired by artificial intelligence. This is not only a very important milestone; this technology is so promising that it will fundamentally change our lives in the near future.

See the complete list of new tenure-track faculty joining CSUF this fall.