Why was the KU School of Engineering the right choice for you?
Honestly speaking, the reputation of a school and prestigious professors are the most attractive points for graduate students to join their departments. There is no doubt that KU Engineering is famous for its research achievements and good research atmosphere in public universities. My supervisor is also famous in the field of information security and quite a generous person. This is what brought me to study in KU Engineering. Moreover, Lawrence is a safe, quiet, friendly and beautiful college town which makes it ideal for studying.
What are you currently researching?
My current research interest is online social network security. Specifically, I use some natural language processing methods and big data strategy to analyze users’ information including personal information and their posts, thereby trying to find sensitive information and protecting them. I feel this research area is very interesting and useful. The online social network is a double-edged sword. It brings convenience and entertainment for us but also puts our personal information at the risk of being exposed to the whole Internet. Few users realize that their pieces of seemingly useless online information can become a powerful weapon for internet stalking or other crimes. Therefore, my goal is to be an expert in this area and try to protect users’ information security.
What is your favorite thing on campus or in Lawrence that a prospective student should check out?
I spend a lot of my leisure time studying with my friends in Engineering Buildings. I know it sounds very nerdy, but it is also hard to deny that Engineering is a pretty good place for studying even social with geeks. We have silent place for study, private rooms for discussion and recreation area for relaxing. The new buildings plus advanced equipment makes it an ideal place for studying. I also like hiking. In and around Lawrence, there are several good places for hiking, such as Clinton lake and Prairie Lake.
What advice do you have for prospective graduate students?
Graduate study is quite different from undergraduate study on both study method and motivation. Most undergraduate courses are related about well developed knowledge and for the questions, they have certain correct answers. However, graduate courses and research are mostly about open questions, we need to explore the optimal and feasible answers by ourself. The road to the academic research will begin with curiosity and excitement, but accompany with more and more frustrated and boring stuff. All the graduate students suffer from this process, especially for Ph.Ds. So before your graduate studies, besides drowning in the fancy topics and technical words, please strengthen your heart and prepare for the rough roads. Do not fear of tough experience, and try to overcome yourself.
Which committee are you on and what would you like to do in the next year to help current graduate students?
The committee I’m on is Research & Outreach. In the next year, my colleagues and I plan to hold several research presentations given by current graduate students. These presentations will not talk that deep compared with the presentation given by professors. We aim to give fresh graduate students some basic ideas about what the graduate life likes and what research area we are good at in KU Engineering. We will also arrange some interviews with excellent current graduate students in KU Engineering. The good idols in research might inspire and encourage us.