STEM Community Bond over Seminars

Oct 14 2016
Written by NYU Shanghai

On Wednesday, Professor of Computer Science Zhang Zheng jumpstarted this semester’s STEM seminar series, a new initiative to boost interdisciplinary exchanges at NYU Shanghai, with a talk on deep learning and artificial intelligence.

Raising the much-discussed AlphaGo as an example, Professor Zhang began by dispelling an array of myths about deep learning, from whether it is just a very deep monolithic feed-forwarding network to the wide gap between deep learning and AI.  

Zhang said deep learning, a challenging field full of opportunities, is driven by the demand of real-world applications, such as computer vision and natural language processing. “It (deep learning) has already united many branches in computer science, because the idea to remove hand-designed features is liberating. One of the most exciting and less explored direction is to use it as a tool to understand the innerworking of brain,” he added.


Around 50 NYU Shanghai students and faculty members attended the inaugural seminar. In the coming months, another seven scientists will be sharing their cutting-edge research in physics, chemistry and neuroscience (see schedule below).

Initiated by NYU Shanghai’s new Chief Science Mentor Professor David McLaughlin, the seminar series aims to build a “home-like” community for faculty members in science, technology, engineering and mathematics where they can learn about and collaborate with each other.

“At a typical research university, often quite large, faculty’s departments are their homes. The fact that NYU Shanghai are organized around smaller-scale divisions is hard for faculty members to develop a home-like community,” said Professor McLaughlin, who, in his new role, will support the scholarly development of STEM at NYU Shanghai.

“Therefore, the best way to get to know other faculty members is by learning what research they are doing through regular gatherings, such as the weekly seminars,” he added.

NYU Shanghai STEM Seminar Series (Fall 2016)

4:45-5:45 PM, Room 310, Pudong

             Talk Title: Deep Learning and AI: Myth, Facts, Opportunities and Challenges