News featuring Jie Bu

Sanghani Center Student Spotlight: Jie Bu

Graphic is from the paper “Learning Compact Representations of Neural Networks using DiscriminAtive Masking (DAM)” 

Jie Bu, a Ph.D. student in computer science, has been interested in machine learning since he was an undergraduate in communications engineering at Harbin Institute of Technology, China. There he was introduced to the Random Forests (a machine learning model) and genetic algorithms which, Bu said, still hold great fascination for him.

In his current research at the Sanghani Center, Bu uses machine learning for physical applications. 

“We have been exploring how we can use machine learning to help fluid dynamics and quantum physics. From knowledge of science developed over the centuries, we are seeking to find out how machine learning models can be made more interpretable and generalizable,” said Bu.

“Sometimes generating simulation data is very slow so we are looking at the possibility of using machine learning to accelerate the simulation,” he said. “Machine learning  is very powerful and can be used to greatly benefit science discovery.” 

Bu is also interested in improving the efficiency of deep learning in a number of ways, including better model architecture and network pruning. 

A paper with his advisor, Anuj Karpatne focuses on model architecture. Bu presented their work on “Quadratic Residual Networks: A New Class of Neural Networks for Solving Forward and Inverse Problems in Physics Involving PDEs” last Spring in proceedings of the 2021 SIAM International Conference on Data Mining (SDM). They developed a new class of quadratic residual networks offering better accuracy, parameter efficiency, and convergence speed for solving forward and inverse problems in physics involving partial differential equations (PDEs).

At the Sanghani Center, Bu said, he has been able to team up and “meet with a lot of brilliant minds.” At the 2021 Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurlPS) conference in December, he presented “Learning Compact Representations of Neural Networks using DiscriminAtive Masking (DAM),” collaborative work with his advisor and other Ph.D. students at the Sanghani Center that uses network pruning.

Bu was also on the research team for the paper, “PhyNet: Physics Guided Neural Networks for Particle Drag Force Prediction in Assembly,” published both in proceedings at SDM 2020 and in Big Data Journal. 

Projected to graduate in summer 2023, Bu would like to continue his research in an industry aligned with his research direction.


Sanghani Center students spend summer months gaining real-world experience at companies, labs, and organizations across the country


Yue Feng, a Ph.D. student in electrical and computer engineering, is an intern with the Snap Research Creative Vision Team in Santa Monica, California.

With restrictions to working in physical office space still in effect, graduate students at the Sanghani Center are working remotely this summer for companies, labs, and programs from coast to coast. Students are not only gaining real-world experience from internships and other opportunities but, in many cases, they are also able to advance their own research interests.

Following is a list of Sanghani Center students and the work they are doing:

Badour AlBahar, a Ph.D. student in electrical and computer engineering, is a computer vision intern at Adobe Vision group in San Jose, California. She is working on human reposing and animation. Her advisor is Jia-Bin Huang.

Sikiru Adewale, a Ph.D. student in computer science, is a software development engineer intern at Amazon Web Service in Seattle, Washington. He is working on data transfer and storage on the AWS snowball device. His advisor is Ismini Lourentzou.

Vasanth Reddy Baddam, a Ph.D. student in computer science, is an research intern at Siemens in Princeton, New Jersey. He is working on contributing to industrial research projects on leveraging machine learning to analyze multi-agent reinforcement learning (MARL) algorithms and implement them. His advisor is Hoda Eldardiry. 


Subhodip Biswas
, a Ph.D. student in computer science, is working on Bayesian optimization techniques for automated machine learning (AutoML) and robust artificial intelligence systems as part of the Journeyman Fellowship he received from the DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Research Associateship Program (RAP) administered by the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). His advisor is Naren Ramakrishnan.

Jie Bu, a Ph.D. student in computer science, is a research intern at Carbon 3D in Redwood City, California. He is working on artificial intelligence-powered computational geometry. His advisor is Anuj Karpatne.

Si Chen, a Ph.D. student in computer engineering, is a research intern at InnoPeak Technology in Seattle, Washington. She is working on research on model privacy protection. Her advisor is Ruoxi Jia.

Kai-Hsiang Cheng, a master’s degree student in computer science, is an intern at GTV Media Group in New York City. He is working on the content management system of the media’s platform. His advisor is Chang-Tien Lu.

Riya Dani, a master’s degree student in computer science, is a software engineer intern at Microsoft. She is working on web application developments under Azure. Her advisor is Ismini Lourentzou.

Debanjan Datta, a Ph.D. student in computer science, is an intern on the Amazon Web Services team at Amazon in Seattle, Washington. He is working on time series characterization and classification.  His advisor is Naren Ramakrishnan.

Arka Dawa Ph.D. student in computer science, is an applied scientist intern at Amazon Web Services Lambda Science Team in Seattle, Washington.  He is working on developing an automated causal machine learning framework for setting up experiments and estimating causal effects from observational data. His advisor is Anuj Karpatne.

Yue Feng, a Ph.D. student in electrical and computer engineering, is an intern with the Snap Research Creative Vision Team in Santa Monica, California. She is working on a 3D computer vision project. Her advisor is Jia-Bin Huang.

Chen Gao, a Ph.D. student in electrical and computer engineering, is a research intern at Google in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is working on creating video panoramas using a cellphone. His advisor is Jia-Bin Huang.

Jianfeng He, a Ph.D. student in computer science, is an intern at Tencent AI Lab in Seattle,Washington. He is working on research about multi-modal dialogue with mentors Linfeng Song and Kun Xu. His advisor is Chang Tien-Lu.

Taoran Ji, a Ph.D. student in computer science, is an intern at Moody’s Analytics in New York City. He is working on analyzing credit and financial data for the global financial markets, which will drive algorithmic improvements in Moody’s Analytics core machine learning and artificial intelligence-driven products. His advisor is Chang-Tien Lu.

Adheesh Juvekar, a Ph.D. student in computer science, is a machine learning and natural language processing intern at Deloitte & Touche LLP. He is working on automatically extracting relevant information from transactional invoices using state of the art deep learning techniques. His advisor is Edward Fox.

M. Maruf, a Ph.D. student in computer science, is a machine learning engineering intern at Qualcomm GNSS/location team in Santa Clara, California. He is applying machine learning techniques to hybrid technology fusion for navigation/positioning in mobile, wearable, automotive, and micro-mobility applications. His advisor is Anuj Karpatne.

Nikhil Muralidhar, a Ph.D. student in computer science, received an Applied Machine Learning Summer Research Fellowship at Los Alamos National Lab in Los Alamos, New Mexico, to work with researchers on physics-informed machine learning for modeling adsorption equilibria in fluid mixtures. His advisor is Naren Ramakrishnan. 

Makanjuola Ogunleye, a Ph.D. student in computer science, is an application support engineer intern at Northwestern Mutual in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His duties include coding, testing, and implementing complex programs from user specifications. He is also performing client data analysis to support engineering technology to improve and facilitate customer success. His advisor is Ismini Lourentzou.

Nishan Pokharel, a master’s degree student in computer science, is a software engineering intern at Capital One in Mclean, Virginia.  He is working on network infrastructure automation. His advisor is Chris North

Avi Seth, a master’s degree student in computer science, is serving as a graduate team leader this summer for Virginia Tech’s Data Science for the Public Good program. The group works on projects that address state, federal, and local government challenges around today’s relevant and critical social issues. His advisor is Ismini Lourentzou.

Mia Taylor, a master’s degree student in computer science, is a software development intern at Amazon Web Services in Seattle, Washington. Her team is working with Comprehend AutoML which allows customers to build customized natural language processing models using their own data. Her advisor is Lifu Huang.

Yiran Xu, a Ph.D. student in electrical and computer engineering, is an intern with the Snap Research Creative Vision Team in Santa Monica, California. He is working on 3D human reconstruction and video generation/manipulation. His advisor is Jia-Bin Huang.

Shuaicheng Zhang, a Ph.D. student in computer science, is a natural language processing (NLP) research intern at Deloitte in New York City. He is part of the Audit and Assurance AI innovation team, working on open information extraction on internal control files to help auditors effortlessly process these files. His advisor is Lifu Huang.

Yuliang Zou, a Ph.D. student in electrical and computer engineering, is a research intern at Waymo in Mountainview, California. He is working on the perception problem for self-driving cars.  His advisor is Jia-Bin Huang.