The Engineer's Impact - Yimin Yang

Your inside look at faculty’s research and its effect on society

In this new Q&A series, we’ll feature Western Engineering faculty members to gain a succinct overview of their research, understand its impact on society, and discover intriguing little-known facts.

Meet Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor Yimin Yang

Yimin-Yang-160x180Can you describe your research?

My research focuses on improving machine intelligence. My team and I carry out research in both theory and applied aspects of the machine learning domain. We are focusing on proposing effective neural network architectures and learning algorithms to make AI development more accessible, affordable, and reliable for industrial applications.

How does your research impact society in everyday life?

AI and deep learning research have offered advantages for nearly every industry. In 2021, Ontario created and retained nearly 21,000 AI jobs and invested C$2.16 billion in AI firms and the commercialization of AI applications. As the most central technology in AI, machine learning algorithms play an important role. My research is to propose fast, accurate, and easy-to-use machine learning algorithms to train neural networks thereby extending AI technology to large-scale industrial applications. These outcomes could lead the machine to have intelligent reliable behaviour, but it could also adjust its behaviour in a real-time manner.

What’s an interesting, little-known fact related to your research?

The past few years have given rise to the development of deep learning. However, as a subfield of the neural network, deep learning has been around since 1980 while the neural network was established as early as 1940. It is important to assign credit to those who contributed to the present state of the art.