KAUST Prospective Student: Siyuan Chen

-By Taruna Rapaka

Siyuan Chen is a 22-year-old graduate who comes to KAUST from the School of Communication and Information Engineering, UESTC, China. Chen will join the University in the fall of 2020 as an M.S./Ph.D. candidate in the KAUST Structural and Functional Bioinformatics research group under the supervision of Professor Xin Gao. 

What was your main subject during your undergraduate degree? Why did you choose it?

I majored in the Internet of Things engineering. I chose this subject because I believe that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) should be the way forward for humanity and lead to the fourth industrial revolution. 

Why have you chosen to study M.S./Ph.D. at KAUST?

I chose KAUST not only for its extensive collection of best-in-class research laboratories, facilities but also for its rigorous and fulfilling academic atmosphere. Being a KAUST M.S./Ph.D. student will surely further my career plans as a researcher in artificial intelligence and one of the top engineers in this area.

What are your research interests? When did your interest in computer science arise?

My research interests lie in bioinformatics, computational biology, machine learning, and big data. I intend to work at the intersection between computer science and biology and develop algorithms so as to solve the key problems in medicine as well as in biology.

Since my second year at UESTC, I have had a keen interest in developing algorithms to solve real-life problems. At UESTC, I joined the visual computational group led by Professor Yan Chen and developed advanced deep-learning algorithms based on human pose estimation in videos. 

What is your future outlook? Who will be your supervisor at KAUST?

I want to further engage in the research carried out by Professor Xin Gao’s Structural and Functional Bioinformatics Group (SFB). I chose the SFB group, not only because it fully meets my academic interests but also for the broad application scenario of artificial intelligence in bioinformatics and big data. 

What do you do in your spare time? What are you passionate about?

Besides regular computer programming, I love classical music and sports. Actually, during my Visiting Student Research Program (VSRP) internship at KAUST; I was delighted to take part in the Sunset Concert and the Ensemble Concert as a trombone player. Being able to corporate and engage with all the talented musicians within the KAUST community was an extraordinary experience.

KAUST Sunset concert


Can you give a piece of advice to students who plan to pursue an M.S./Ph.D. at KAUST?

Before you apply to KAUST, I think a wise choice is to take an internship here and know more about the unique community on campus. Pursuing an M.S./Ph.D. at KAUST can be a challenging experience in your lifetime. Most of the professors here are doing interdisciplinary research, and their research area lies in many places. I think potential students will benefit a lot from the distinguished researchers and professors here at KAUST.