The Computer Science Department is pleased to welcome Prof. Yufei Ding, who has accepted our tenure-track faculty job offer in Spring 2017. She joined the department faculty in November 2017.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I started my Ph.D. study in Computer Science in 2012 and received my Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in 2017. Before that, I have earned my B.S. and M.S. in Physics from University of Science and Technology of China and The College of William and Mary respectively.
Q: Tell us about your research?
My research interest resides at the intersection of Compiler Technology and (Big) Data Analytics, with a focus on enabling High-Level Program Optimizations for data analytics and other data-intensive applications. Compared with traditional compiler optimization, our high-level program optimization, e.g., algorithmic -level optimization, is often more efficient and powerful. With the cooperation of domain-specific language, compiler, and runtime system, we could automatically generate better algorithms that are orders of magnitude faster. Our optimization has been applied to many popular algorithms in Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and other High-Performance Applications, with related works published in major venues in both computer systems and data analytics areas, such as ASPLOS, PLDI, VLDB, and ICML.
Q: Are there any memorable moments in your academic career so far?
One of the memorable moments was when I got my first course-evaluation form as a python-lab instructor. “Yufei was very helpful in lab sessions and great about responding to emails. I would like to major in CS after taking this course and lab.”—from an anonymous undergraduate student. It was an introductory-level course and also my first course as a TA. I put lots of efforts to the class, but still worried about whether I could pass my understanding and passion of the subject to the students. The evaluation actually freed up my mind, as I knew that all my efforts had paid off.
Q: Why UCSB? What's your first impression of this campus and the department?
I chose UCSB because I can foresee a bright future for my career here. The UCSB Department of Computer Science is a leading one in the world with many world-class faculty members. In particular, its strength in research areas including system and machine learning matches well with my interdisciplinary background and research interest. Moreover, I am impressed by the friendly academic environment from the interview experience, where many collaborations have been facilitated. Furthermore, the interaction with students was also joyful. It will be a great fun to work with students who are highly motivated and full of research enthusiasm. All these aspects will benefit me in pursuing a productive future here at UCSB.
My first impression of the campus and the department is one of the best among my interviews. I appreciated and enjoyed the discussion with many world-renowned researchers in the department. The insightful discussion with them helped me draw a clear picture of an exciting and collaborative career path in the department. Moreover, I would like to acknowledge Amr El Abbadi and Ambuj Singh, who took me to a joyful relax from the interview --- enjoying the sunshine and the ocean walk around the beautiful campus. I believe UCSB will be a perfect place for doing research.
Q: What do you do in your spare time?
I enjoy water sports such as swimming and paddleboarding in my spare time. I only had the chance to play in a swimming pool or a small river before; the ocean would be an exciting challenge for me.
Q: Do you like Santa Barbara so far?
I really like the lifestyle in Santa Barbara: You can find crowds of people soaking up the sun and working out at the beach. In particular, butterfly beach, which is only miles away from home, is my favorite beach for its great view. Taking a walk along the beach is such great joy that it has already become a part of my daily routine.