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Huang-Wei Chang, PhD '13

Huang-Wei Chang, PhD '13

Huang-Wei Chang, PhD '13

TELL US WHAT YOU'RE UP TO NOW (WORK, RESEARCH, HOBBIES, OTHER)

I am a software engineer at Google; my work is to improve the overall Google experience by removing spam & abuse on Google’s websites. The projects I am involved in include design and implementation of spam & abuse detection and analysis tools for both engineers and analysts. Besides my job, I love to discuss with people about how to solve various real-world problems by innovative and data-driven approaches especially on topics about healthier food and better healthcare (those topics are also closely related to my Ph.D. research, which is about biomedical data mining).

I am a regular jogger and jogged almost everyday when I lived at Stanford. I still go back to Stanford for jogging very often during weekends. One of my new hobbies after graduation is playing programmable robots and drones (I bought an AR.Drone and a couple small ones during the 2013 Thanksgiving), and my goal is to make a drone that can be my jogging partner.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE ICME?

I love math. I already had degrees in math and computer science before coming to Stanford. Although design and implementation of information systems was a lot of fun for me, thinking and solving problems mathematically was what I really wanted to do. Fortunately, ICME provided the best for both fields. Doing math on computers was really attractive to me!

HOW DID YOUR EDUCATION AT ICME PREPARE YOU FOR WHAT YOU'RE DOING TODAY?

Math is a prerequisite of many data mining and machine learning techniques. ICME prepared me to be math-savvy for understanding those techniques, which are used everywhere in this data intensive era. However, another unique and important training I received at ICME is in how to solve numerical problems at a large scale and in a reliable way on computers. This is crucial but usually overlooked by people who do not realize doing math on computers can be very tricky.

WHEN YOU REFLECT BACK ON YOUR TIME AT ICME, WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER MOST FONDLY?

Those really interdisciplinary courses and seminars and the variety of research ICME students were doing. Also the common mathematical insights shared with students even though their research topics are totally different.

WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE, WHERE DO YOU ENVISION ICME STUDENTS FIT IN? 

ICME students should be the pioneers of bringing computational and mathematical solutions to many unsolved problems and fields that haven’t enjoyed the benefit of modern computational power.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR TODAY'S ICME STUDENTS?

Be brave enough to think how to solve problems in a computationally mathematical way, even for fields that mainly use computers as word processors and sending e-mails.


ICME Program: PhD '13

Hometown: Taichung, Taiwan

Profession: Software Engineer at Google- Mountain View, California