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Liu Awarded IBM Fellowship Award

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BETHLEHEM, Pa., June 6, 2017 — Lehigh University Ph.D. candidate Jie Liu has won an IBM Corp. Ph.D. fellowship award to study power systems and data analytics at IBM Research-Ireland.

Liu Awarded IBM Fellowship AwardLiu develops large-scale optimization algorithms, or mathematical models, and applies them to machine learning in city planning and “smart city” systems. His goal is to design a power-transmission system that meets the energy demands of a city with maximum efficiency and minimal cost.

Liu's research focuses on the buses, or intermediate power stations, which take electricity from a power plant and distribute it to homes and businesses in a utility company's service area. He develops models that seek to determine the optimal number, and optimal location, of intermediate stations. He is also working on the development of fast solvers for the popular deep neural networks and other graphical models.

A utility company's goal, Liu said, is to transmit electricity from its intermediate stations with maximum efficiency. If a station's wires carry too much electricity, they will exceed the station's voltage limits and overheat with undesired consequences, shutting down or even igniting. If the wires carry too little electricity, the system loses efficiency.

"We want to find a middle point," Liu said. "We can never reach the voltage limit. On the other hand, if the amount of electricity being transmitted is too low, efficiency is reduced. We want to be efficient but not get too close to the limit."

A second goal is to solve problems that arise as quickly as possible.

We want to speed up optimization for power networks," Liu said. "Our goal is to transmit power efficiently while solving problems as quickly as possible."

IBM Research-Ireland is one of 12 IBM research laboratories in the world. The fellowship is given each year to 50 outstanding students worldwide. IBM Research-Ireland conducts research into the Cognitive Internet of Things, cognitive integrated healthcare, interactive reasoning, data centric computing, the cloud and privacy.

As part of the fellowship program, Liu has been assigned a mentor from IBM Research-Ireland. He will continue his research into power systems and data analytics and will likely spend part of the fall semester in Ireland or at the company's New York site.

Liu enrolled at Lehigh in 2013 after completing his master’s degree in mathematics from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Nankai University in Tianjin, China. His other honors include the Dean's Doctoral Assistantship and Dean's Fellowship from Lehigh's P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, the Gotshall Fellowship from Lehigh and the American Express Machine Learning Contest Award.

IBM is a multinational technology company that manufactures and markets computer hardware, middleware and software, and offers hosting and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology.
May 2017
machine vision
Interpretation of an image of an object or scene through the use of optical noncontact sensing mechanisms for the purpose of obtaining information and/or controlling machines or processes.
BusinesseducationJie LiuLehigh UniversityIBMawardspeopleAmericasEuropesmart cityindustrialmachine vision

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