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Graduate Student Profile - Current Student

Name: Yudong Zhang
Hometown: Beijing, China
Prior Study: University of Macau, Business Information Systems
Degree Sought: MS Information Technology
Concentration: Software Design
Department: Information Technology and Web Science
Year of Graduation: 2013
Current Position: Teaching Assistant in CS Department

Why did you choose to enroll at Rensselaer?
The reason I enrolled at RPI was because I was attracted by its excellent placement report, sufficient funding support and great research opportunities to work with the best in the world in my interested domain.

What would you tell a prospective student about choosing Rensselaer?
First of all, you can get a job, a really good job! Second of all, it’s the right place, if you would like to grow to be a cutting-edge, technical expert or researcher under the guidance of excellent faculty.

What are some benefits of being part of the Graduate Community at Rensselaer?
Once you join the graduate community at RPI, you will have access to the resources and opportunities you can hardly reach at most other schools. The faculty are really supportive and you always learn from your peers.

Describe your graduate project and its purpose/applications?
My graduate project in IT capstone course was about how to implement several new features for a start-up company doing online obituary business in a multi-cultural and talented group. It helped me to prepare myself before entering into industry and improved my technical, managerial and language skills.

What are your plans following graduation?
After graduattion, I plan to enter the professional world and apply the knowledge and abilities developed at RPI to make the world a little bit better (as the RPI slogan, “Why not change the world?”).  I’ve been invited to attend post-master program in PNNL but I’m still looking at other opportunities.

What are your hobbies/interests/special talents?
Playing basketball, traveling, hiking and cooking consumed most of my spare time. I used to be a basketball player when I was and undergraduate student. We won the basketball competition held by CSSA at RPI in 2013 spring term.

 List Information about your background and accomplishments in College and Work Experience
I was a software engineer at a summer internship in Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. It was so exciting to have an opportunity to work with elite scientists on a real project, which may potentially influence thousands of people.

At RPI, I was a research assistant in my second semester working on the semantic content repository with Professor James Myers and teaching assistant in my last semester in the CS department. Also in my last semester, I am working with Professor Heng Ji on the field related to natural language processing. Beside academics in RPI, I had a chance to be a student representative in the Graduate Curriculum Committee and was able to contribute my ideas. As a result the IT program added Data Science and Analytics as a new concentration based on the current big data trends.

Awards/Scholarships
Research Assistant at Sustainable Environment – Actionable Data project, RPI
Teaching Assistant at CS department, RPI
ERS Academic Prize, University of Macau

 

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