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Tang Yang: 35-year-old highly cited researcher

(en.sh-italent.com)Updated : 2018-08-30

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Tang Yang, a 35-year-old distinguished professor at the East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) in Shanghai, is ranked among the 2017 Highly Cited Researchers list along with 248 other Chinese scientists. [Photo/sh-italent.cn]

Tang Yang, a 35-year-old distinguished professor at the East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) in Shanghai, was ranked among the 2017 Highly Cited Researchers list along with 248 other Chinese scientists, and is also the only scientist to win such an honor in Shanghai's computer science sector.

The list of Highly Cited Researchers, launched by Clarivate Analytics, is named annually, and recognizes leading researchers in sciences and social sciences from around the world. 

Tang, born in 1983, won the research fellowship, an honor for highly qualified scientists and scholars worldwide granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany, when he was 27. Four years later, he was selected into the national Recruitment Program of Global Youth Experts, and joined the School of Information Science and Engineering (SISE) of ECUST.

At the ECUST, Tang quickly became the backbone of the scientific research team working on intelligent control and optimization led by Qian Feng, academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering and vice principal of ECUST.   

Tang said that his personal growth is greatly attributed to the school's support and the team's help in aspects such as work space and research funds.

The school made room for him to build a robot lab, gave him an allowance of 100,000 yuan ($14,494) in a lump sum, and entrusted him with important tasks such as instructing doctoral students and organizing an international symposium on intelligent optimization manufacturing of the process industry.

Tang focuses on research on swarm intelligence and autonomous intelligence with the aim of realizing the perception, cognition and decision making of high-dynamic, high dimensional, multi-mode, and distributed large-scale scenes.

Tang said that his research includes the perception, control and optimization of collaboration among multiple robots, cyber-physical systems, and network-based collaborative manufacturing in the intelligent manufacturing sector, which are expected to improve the ability of tracing the safety of the original environment, early warning ability, and the ability to assist decision making in intelligent manufacturing.

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Tang Yang, a 35-year-old distinguished professor at the East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) in Shanghai, poses for a group photo with his students. [Photo/sh-italent.cn] 

Artificial intelligence (AI), which is regarded as the core driving force of industrial reform, will deeply change the world and people's social lives.

Tang combined this revolutionary technology with traditional chemical engineering. He expected to use AI technology to autonomously monitor the safety of the environment to prevent the potential risks that occur during the production process in chemical plants.

In late 2017, his project on man-machine collaboration-based oil refining operation risk early warning and intelligent decision making gained financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation, one of the 25 projects to win such an honor nationwide. The project will help make the industrial processes securer and more intelligent.

In addition to doing scientific research, Tang also enjoys teaching. He is the lecturer of two courses, recruits two doctoral students and four master's students every year, instructs undergraduates in graduation projects, and welcomes undergraduates to participate in activities of his lab.

Tang has gained popularity among ECUST students. Wang Yuchen is one of his fans. Wang saw Tang's research on multi-agent systems and robots/vehicles/aircraft collaboration on the school website and became interested in his work. She frequently consulted Tang about questions of in-depth learning and reinforcement learning via emails. In November 2017, Wang joined Tang's lab and worked on research on reinforcement learning-based drone control. Wang also applied for an innovation and entrepreneurship project this year with Tang being the instructor.

Du Wenli, dean of SISE, hoped that Tang could become a role model for young teachers in the school. In order to encourage the young teachers to pursue innovation and further growth, the school has run a training program for outstanding young teachers since 2012. Those selected into the program will get an allowance of 20,000 yuan per year. So far, 16 teachers have been included into the program in SISE.

Shi Hongbo, former dean of SISE who introduced Tang to the university, also hoped that more top minds like Tang would be brought in to the university and the university could make breakthroughs in discovering, bringing in, and retaining talented personnel.