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The Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Department held a very successful Alumni Homecoming Event on Saturday, June 18, 2016. Associated with the event is a first workshop on the theme of "Big Data and Deep Learning". Distinguished alumni speakers from different parts of the world and all walks of life spoke to an audience of over 100 faculty, alumni and students.
There are many highlights of the workshop. Prof. Tony Chan, President of HKUST attended the workshop and gave an opening speech. Tony praised the alumni for their excellent achievement and gave blessing on a successful future for everyone. Former CSE department head and current Vice Rector of University of Macau, Prof. Lionel Ni, gave a heart-warming reflection on the history of the department and expressed his high hope for a bright future of the department. Prof. Zexiang Li, Co-founder of DJI, and Prof. Qiang Yang, current Head of the CSE department, expressed their warm welcome for the returning alumni. Professor Yang gave details on the development of the department in big data, human computer interaction and cyber-security areas, and invited the alumni to contribute more to the increasingly higher reputation of the department in the world.
Invited alumni gave a series of exciting and interesting talks that cover the topics of big data and deep learning from both industrial and academic perspectives. In the first session, speakers discussed the new emerging hardware platforms for handling big data. The session included sharing about the next generation HDFS file system, as well as a new distributed platform, named Husky, which significantly outperforms Spark. How new hardware, particular GPU, influences big data processing was also discussed.
The second and third sessions provided insights into research of diverse big data and deep learning applications. The successful applications ranged from profit maximization in economics, heterogeneous transfer learning, real-time visualization, to transportation planning and design. Big data also means creative business models, e.g. advertisement for mobile users and big data solution tailored for business users.
Alumni from Internet industries shared their experience in working with real-world big data. They discussed how to mine the financial data and the web-search data within Baidu. They also discussed how to handle large volumes of data using the "Tianchi" platform within Alibaba. They also discussed how to efficiently process numerous biological data within Data Thinker.
In late afternoon, a heated panel saw invited speakers sharing their opinion on studying at and after HKUST. They reflected on how their career choices were influenced by various factors, including advisors and spouses. They made insightful comparison between industry and academia as their career choices. Prof. Qiang Yang shared his expectation of a closer collaboration between industry and academic research at CSE, HKUST.
Panel Discussion: Life after HKUST (Left to right) Bingsheng, Siyuan, Prof. Qiang Yang, Xiaowen, Dou
The details of this event is also available on Weibo, and WeChat via the following QR Code:
See also the photo album of the Alumni Homecoming Workshop.