About Me

I am a lecturer in the Computer Science Department of the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) at Columbia University. This semester (Fall 2024), I am teaching Discrete Mathematics (COMS 3203) and Data-Driven Decision Modeling (ORCS 4200). If you are my academic advisee, please feel free to reach out by email for an appointment.

As a lecturer, my energies are primarily focused on teaching and refining my courses, advising students, and contributing to various education programs in the school. I am the faculty director of the CS@CU Bridge to MS Program in Computer Science, and I am also the faculty director of the online Artificial Intelligence executive education program in Columbia Engineering. In spring 2023, I launched Decision Making and Reinforcement Learning on Coursera. This short online course covers some basics of decision-making theory and reinforcement learning and provides hands-on practice with checkpoints, quizzes, and programming assignments.

I also regularly advise a small number of undergraduate and MS students on independent-study or research projects. These projects have ranged from applying deep reinforcement learning techniques to robot locomotion to developing lesson plans and assessments for potential new courses. Other activities include having been a faculty advisor for the NASA Robotics Challenge team in Columbia Space Initiative in Spring 2020 and faculty advisor for ADI Labs in Spring 2019.

Important: If you are not a Columbia student, please do not contact me about research opportunities. I do not have the resources to support or sponsor students from other institutions. Furthermore, even if you are a Columbia student, I prefer that you take a course with me before reaching out about possible projects. Unlike many faculty, I don’t have a list of ongoing projects; most of my students come up with project ideas on their own and mainly look to me for feedback and suggestions rather than a specific direction.


My hometown is San Francisco, CA, USA. Depending on how you count, I am a first- or second-generation immigrant; my parents both immigrated from Guangdong, China. I lived in the Bay Area until I received my B.S. from UC Berkeley in EECS in 2012. I subsequently moved to Pittsburgh, PA, to study in The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, from which I received my M.S. in 2015 and Ph.D. in 2018 under the advisement of Dr. Howie Choset.