AI researcher works to link big data, machine learning and computer systems

Artificial intelligence — the systems that guide social media feeds, smartphone apps, and other aspects of our lives — is getting smarter, and computer science and engineering professor Feng Yan plays a role in this scholarship . Yan’s research connects three key drivers of AI: big data, machine learning, and computer systems.

This work earned Yan the 2022 Nevada Regents’ Rising Researcher Award, one of several Regents’ Awards announced by the Nevada System of Higher Education on March 4. In addition to Yan, four other scholars received the Rising Researcher Award, which carries a $2,000 prize. .

“I am very honored and grateful to receive this prestigious award, as it is an important and encouraging reflection of the high quality research work done by everyone in my lab,” Yan said. “We are encouraged by this award and will continue to do our best to conduct productive, high-impact research in the areas of big data, machine learning, and computer systems, as well as interdisciplinary topics that go beyond computer science and engineering.

Specific computer science and engineering research Yan and his team have worked on include large-scale distributed deep learning, federated learning (a privacy-preserving machine learning technique), serverless computing (a new paradigm in cloud computing) and general topics in cloud computing. and high performance computing. Additionally, Yan’s research on machine learning as a service (an emerging computing paradigm that enables optimized execution of machine learning tasks) was recognized by the National Science Foundation with a CAREER award in 2021.

Yan is also interested in interdisciplinary research and has established collaborations with experts in fields such as health, physics, geography, materials science, mechanical engineering, civil engineering. He has pioneered big data and AI-driven approaches to these fields.

He says research on convergence – a way to solve complex problems through deep integration across disciplines – is important to succeeding today’s AI revolution.

“I see a lot of missed opportunities as well as unresolved challenges in the current AI revolution that could be solved by seamlessly integrating big data, machine learning, computing systems and domain knowledge of app,” Yan said.

Yan adds that his research has the potential to significantly reduce resource and energy consumption as well as the carbon footprint associated with rapidly growing societal demands for big data and machine learning. His work also provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students by training them in the art of systems optimization combined with the latest insights in big data and machine learning.

Yan thanks his students, colleagues and many collaborators for his success, and also appreciates the strong and constant support of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the College of Engineering and the university management.