Graduate Student Profiles

  • Zhong, Yaying
    My research explores the implication of Paulo Freire's critical pedagogy on China's non-governmental higher education, within the context of China's transition to democracy.
  • Sarwar, Mirza
    The aim of my research is to develop a next generation flexible transparent tactile interface for human computer interaction that can work even while being physically deformed, a property necessary for a true wearable device. In addition to sensing touch, the device can detect the presence of a hovering finger, a stretch, and a bend. It is highly transparent and is fabricated using a simple and scalable process, and will be widely available and made using low-cost polymer materials. The working principle of the sensor is based on the well-established mutual capacitance technology used in current touch screen devices rendering it easily adaptable. The technology is being further enhanced to detect localized shear for electronic skin application. This would enable robot hands to effectively pick up fragile objects and even provide haptic feedback to surgeons using robotic arms for surgeries.
  • Zhao, Pan
    My research goal is to develop advanced control techniques and apply them to floating offshore wind turbines to reduce energy costs. Wind power has recently become one of the world’s fastest-growing renewable energy sources, and one of the recent trends in the wind energy industry is to place large turbines offshore on deepwater floating platforms. However, ocean waves destabilize these platforms, weakening turbine structures. This increases maintenance costs, reducing turbine lifespans if not addressed. Control techniques play an important role in reducing the cost of wind energy. For floating offshore wind turbines, control measures can be used to actively reduce wave-induced platform motion, helping to lower maintenance costs and extend turbine service life. Since turbine dynamics change with wind speed, (switching) LPV gain-scheduling control has the potential to greatly improve the performance of wind turbine control systems. 
  • Wu, Zhongshou
    My PhD thesis aims to identify and analyse E3 ligases with a role in plant immunity. I will further determine and characterize their ubiquitination substrates to reveal how they are regulating and being regulated during immune responses.
  • Li, Xiuhua
    Resource allocation, optimization, and content caching in mobile networks.
  • Liu, Bingyu (Gloria)
    China has rapidly become one of the world’s biggest overseas investors, encouraging more multinational enterprises to go abroad. Chinese multinational investment is likely to increase exponentially in Africa through “South and South Cooperation”, and “One Belt, One Road” initiatives, however, the environmental impacts of these investments have not yet been comprehensively studied. Notably, there is a dearth of empirical research on the environmental impact of Chinese multinationals’ infrastructure building and resource extraction. My research aims to empirically analyze the environmental performance of Chinese multinationals engaging in infrastructure building and natural resource extraction in Kenya and South Africa, investigating strategies for more sustainable development. The improvement of Chinese multinationals’ environmental performance will in turn help promote sustainable investments in African countries, improve relations between African peoples and foreign investors, and eventually bring about environmental justice.
  • Guan, Ling
    My research focuses on the function/activity of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Specifically, I use the measurement of heart rate variability (HRV) to assess stress regulation in different target conditions, including: patients in intensive care units, patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, and patients with acute ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack.
  • Jiang, Bei
    In the past 15 years, many Chinese cities have initiated "ecocities" as models of ecological urban development. The proposed research investigates one of these ecocities, a pilot project named the Sino-Singapore Tianjin-Ecocity (SSTEC). This project investigates the possibility of integrating ecological knowledge into planning practice by applying the Ecosystem Services (ES) assessment. This is an accepted approach in natural resource management and environmental planning. The objective is to inspire urban planning practices that can better achieve urban sustainability through ES research.
  • Zou, Liang
    In my Ph.D thesis I focus on developing novel underdetermined blind source separation (BSS) methods and appling these methods in real-world applications. To overcome limitations of currently available EMD-BSS based methods and recover the underlying source signals accurately, in my first project I propose a novel blind source separation framework. This framework combines noise-assisted multivariate empirical mode decomposition and multiset canonical correlation analysis. Upon applying the proposed method on the nano-sensor data, we found that the proposed framework can achieve better performance than other state-of-the-art approaches. Existing BSS approaches are mainly designed for a single dataset BSS or the determined joint BSS problems (i.e., the number of sensors is greater than the number of sources for each dataset). To fill this gap, the main technical objective of my thesis focuses on developing underdetermined joint blind souce separation (UJBSS) approaches. In my second project, I exploit the second-order statistics of observations and introduce a novel UJBSS method which can extract the buried sources jointly from two datasets. Considering the dependence information between two datasets, the problem of jointly estimating the mixing matrices is tackled via canonical polyadic (CP) decomposition of a specialized tensor in which a set of spatial covariance matrices are stacked. Furthermore, the estimated mixing matrices are used to recover the sources from each dataset separately. I intend to further extend this idea to multiple datasets in a future paper.
  • Darvin, Ron
    Recognizing that technology has become critical in gaining social mobility in the 21st century, this research examines how the integration of digitally-mediated instruction in Vancouver high schools can shape new educational inequities. It challenges the idea of the “digital native” and its corresponding assumptions of today’s youth, and explores how students of different social class locations can develop unequal digital literacies. To understand these inequities, this research focuses particularly on recently immigrated Filipino high school students, the differences of their personal devices, home settings, mentors and social networks, and how these differences can shape diverse digital mindsets and practices. Because students learn these new literacies outside of school, this research asks: Who are acquiring the digital literacies that matter? Who are being left out? To what extent have schools expanded its conceptions of literacy to accommodate the demands of the knowledge economy and the perpetually shifting digital landscape? 

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