ECE welcomes Yi Lu to faculty

9/22/2010 Darlene Naolhu, ECE ILLINOIS

ECE Assistant Professor [profile:yilu4] is one of the newest faculty members in the ECE Department. She came to Illinois from Palo Alto, California, to begin her teaching career and to continue her research in communications and networks.

Written by Darlene Naolhu, ECE ILLINOIS

Yi Lu
Yi Lu

ECE Assistant Professor Yi Lu has yet to experience the worst of Illinois’s weather since her arrival in Champaign in August. A new faculty member in ECE, Lu recently left Palo Alto, California, to begin her teaching career at Illinois and to continue her research in communications and networks.   

“So far the weather has been pretty good, but I haven’t experienced the winter yet. In California, you have 11 months of sunshine. So living in a place like Illinois will be very different for me,” said Lu.

Lu has joined ECE after completing her PhD in electrical engineering at Stanford University, where she had also received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.  She then spent 10 months as a postdoc with Microsoft Research in the eXtreme Computing Group (XCG) before joining Illinois
The strength of the ECE ILLINOIS program was one of the things that drew Lu to Illinois. “The U of I has an excellent engineering school, especially in my area, which is communications and networks,” she said. “I wanted to be in a world-class research environment where I could learn and collaborate with brilliant people.”

Lu's research focuses on performance of high-speed networks such as the Internet and cloud service data centers. She is working on developing efficient architectures and algorithms for large and complex networks. With the growing dependence of information networks and data centers, it is becoming increasingly important to develop ways to process large amounts of data—especially in the scale of terabytes and petabytes.

“Cloud services coupled with mobile devices is envisioned to be the next paradigm in computing. We have very large amounts of data and data is still not as movable as we want it to be because we still don’t have networks with that high speed,” said Lu.

This semester Lu is teaching ECE 598 YL: Cloud Computing Infrastructure. Her students will be introduced to the theories, techniques, and problems of cloud infrastructure and will learn how to create an infrastructure that has high performance, energy efficiency, and low cost.

“It’s a very exciting job,” said Lu. “Now I have 20 plus students to think about. Because it is a grad-level course, we will be able to work on a number of projects together. It’s something I’m definitely looking forward to.”

In addition to her research in communications and networking, Lu is also interested in complex networks, particularly those used in medical imaging. She hopes to continue her research in that area as well while at Illinois.

“It’s a very friendly and very congenial environment at the U of I. The people here are very supportive, and it’s very easy to find very like minded people when you have a department of considerable size,” said Lu. “I’m very glad to be here.”

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This story was published September 22, 2010.