Yanjie Dong

When Machine Learning Meets Communications: A Top-Down Research
Victor C. M. Leung (main supervisor), Julian Cheng (co-supervisor)

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

The most prominent feature of wireless communications, accessing the information “anytime, anywhere”, was first unveiled to me when my father bought a GSM cellular phone. Since then, I started to observe how wireless communications influence the style of our life, the way we think, and the way we interact. Internet surfing, e-health, e-commerce, social networking, global positioning and navigation, and Bluetooth are the few examples of the services provided by the present wireless communications which have made our life easier and faster. However, this is not the end of the story since the next-generation wireless communications aim to support Gbps transmission capacity and 100 times more users than present technology with much more enhanced reliability, better spectral efficiency, and enhanced power efficiency. These requirements of the future generation wireless communications will open up the door of new research to both academia and industry. My strong yearning to contribute to the next generation of wireless communication technology as an academic motivated me to apply for the PhD.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

Choosing the ECE department at UBC as my final institution for my PhD degree was influenced by the world-wide reputation of its “Data Communication” research group for accomplishing the cutting-edge research in wireless communications. Specifically, I am very interested to work with Prof. Victor C.M. Leung’s research group. The research area of Prof. Leung exactly matches with my research interests. Moreover, I am greatly influenced by Prof. Leung’s farsighted on wireless communication, namely, novel designs and performance evaluation using analytical and simulation methods. I have a strong feeling that getting an opportunity to work in his research group will ensure the maximum usage of my previous expertise, will enhance my research skills, and will enable me to become a rising-star researcher.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

The chances to establish a collaboration with world-renowned researchers. I collaborated with Dr. Naofal Al-Dhahir in my first year on secure wireless communications, and I visited Digital Technology Center at the University of Minnesota in my third year to work with Dr. Georgios B. Giannakis on secure machine learning algorithms.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

I can always find the same food as in my hometown.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

Before I joined UBC, I was familiar with the research skills. Besides, I had demonstrated that I could do independent researches.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

Swimming and video games.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Our professors are knowledgeable. Please feel free to contact them when you are facing difficulties in your research.