-By Taruna Rapaka
Xiaochuan Gou, 27, from Dalian, China, will join KAUST in the fall of 2020. He will join KAUST as a Ph.D. candidate and member of the Machine Intelligence and kNowledge Engineering research group under the supervision of Professor Xiangliang Zhang.
Gou obtained his master’s degree in Computer Science from National Chiao Tung University and a bachelor’s degree in Spatial Information and Digital Technology from Wuhan University, China, respectively.
What was your main subject during your master’s degree? Why did you choose it?
I majored in computer science, and my research work focused on identifying public transport modes by deep learning models. It was an exciting and attractive topic to me, as I resolved a problem from real urban life.
Why have you chosen to study a Ph.D. at KAUST?
I chose KAUST because of its wealth of talented professors and researchers, and also because KAUST can provide me with sufficient resources to do my research work. Another critical reason for choosing KAUST is its diversified culture, which stimulates my curiosity.
When did your interest in computer science arise? What are your research interests?
While studying in high school, I took the course about the Olympiad in Informatics (OI) and attended relative contests. The strategy to resolve problems based on programming drew me toward computer science. I believe that innovation in other fields (like geography and urban planning) could be driven by advanced computer science.
My research interests include machine learning, data mining, and GIS. I hope to build new machine learning models to resolve existing problems in public traffic planning, urban planning and social network related to our modern life.
What are your hobbies? What are you passionate about?
My hobbies include playing billiards and badminton, reading books and photography. I’m also an RTS game player who loves blizzard games. Recently I’m learning how to make great videos by the drone. I’m willing to have a chance to surf by the Red Sea coast.
What is your future outlook?
After I finish my Ph.D. study, I aspire to keep developing state of the art methods in a university or research institute.
Can you give a piece of advice to students who plan to pursue a M.S./Ph.D. at KAUST?
My advice for them is to apply to KAUST with a clear motivation for their research interests and contact like-minded professors before applying. KAUST is a research university with great researchers and professors. It is the best place for you to realize your research dreams.