I'm currently a 4rd year PhD student in Electrical Engineering at Rice University, working with Prof. Rich Baraniuk. My research lies at the intersection of machine learning and personalized education, where I develop novel machine learning algorithms to automate certain tasks in large-scale personalized education scenarios. My recent focus has been variational autoencoders and disentangled representation learning for analysing large educational data sets. Previous works include educational text analysis, such as question generation and free response grading.
During my undergraduate days, I specialized in signal processing, where I worked on a variety of real world signal processing problems involving audio and images, with mentorship of Prof. Gary Woods and Prof. Rich Baraniuk.
A. S. Lan,
P. J. Grimaldi,
A. E. Waters, and
R. G. Baraniuk Educational Data Mining (EDM), July 2019 (poster)
We explored automatic grading open responses in natural language with a meta-learning augmented BERT model which shows superior performance than BERT without meta-learning.
Z. Zheng, M. Zabala, and R. Grey. Undergraduate capstone project.
Best ECE capstone project award in 2016. 2nd Place in Design Competition at American Society for Artificial Internfal Organs Annual Conference (ASAIO) 2016
We developed a vision to tactile sensory substitution device to help the blind regain a sense of vision.
German language studies at Goethe-Institute, May - August 2013
Completed German B1 and B2 level courses
With full scholarship
No.1 Middle School Affiliated to CCNU, Wuhan, China
High School Diploma, 2009 - 2012
Model United Nations Club
President of Student Science Club
Honors and Awards
First Place, Electrical Engineering Senior Design Award, 2016 Second Place, ASAIO Student Design Competition, 2016
Senior Merit Award in Engineering, 2016 First Place, IEEE Region 5 Conference Student Paper Competition, 2015 First Place, Rice Undergraduate Elevator Pitch Competition, 2015
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) RISE Scholarship, 2015
Louis J. Walsh Scholarship from Rice School of Engineering, 2015 35th Place Worldwide (top 2%), IEEEXtreme 24-Hour Coding Competition, 2015
Critical Language Scholarship from Rice (supports summer German language study in Leipzig, Germany), 2013
Lady Geddes Essay Prize from Rice English Department (first International student to receive this award), 2013
Membership of Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, Phi Beta Kappa
Fellow, Data to Knowledge (D2K) Lab, Fall 2019 - present
TA, ELEC 425/554 Computer Architecture, Rice University, Fall 2017 Co-Instructor, COLL 199 Intro to Computer Music, Rice University, Spring 2016 [syllabus]
TA, ELEC 301 Signal and Systems on EdX, Rice University, Spring 2015
TA, ELEC 241 Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering on Coursera, Rice University, Spring 2014
I come from Wuhan (武汉), a city with almost the same weather and latitude as that of Houston (we've got real winter in Wuhan, though!).
I can speak English, Chinese and a bit German. I was in Germany for two out of my only three summers when I was undergrad, primarily because of my interest in the language, music and culture and the research program. Of course, I made well use of my time in Europe to explore many cities and countries.
I enjoy playing the violin and basketball (go Rockets!) In my spare time.