Taiwan-born UCLA professor awarded 2021 Sloan Research Fellowship

Los Angeles-Chang Kai-wei (???), an assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), has been granted a 2021 Sloan Research Fellowship by the university’s Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for his research into artificial intelligence (AI).

Chang, 35, an assistant professor of computer science at UCLA’s Samueli School of Engineering, conducts broad research into AI, machine learning and natural language processing, the university said in a statement issued on Feb. 16.

“With the exponential growth of text data available in various domains, language processing techniques have been incorporated into many real-world applications used by billions around the world,” the statement said.

Chang’s research group develops fundamental statistical approaches to enhancing the efficiency, robustness, inclusion and fairness of human language processing technology, and tackles problems of major technical and social relevance, it said.

“A Sloan Research Fellow is a rising star, plain and simple,” said Adam Falk, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

“To receive a fellowship is to be told by the scientific community that your achievements as a young scholar are already driving the research frontier,” Falk said.

Speaking in an interview with CNA on Tuesday, Chang said that his receiving of the award means that the study of AI has gained growing importance in the field of computer science.

“The aim of AI is to allow computers to understand human languages and help humans resolve their problems,” he said, adding that the goal is to create a more reliable computer system and stabler, fairer and more diverse computer technologies that can be used for various applications.

Chang is one of four young UCLA faculty members to be honored with the award this year, along with Pavel Galashin, Ravi Netravali and Harold Pimentel for their respective research work in algebraic combinatorics, computer systems/networking, and gene regulation by building broadly applicable computational tools.

Chang and the other three scholars were among 128 scientists and scholars from 58 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada selected to receive 2021 Sloan Research Fellowships.

Chang, who has a masters degree in computer science from National Taiwan University in 2009 and a Ph.D. from the Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, worked in the research department at Google Inc. and Microsoft before starting his teaching career at UCLA three years ago.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel