A Global Vision | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

A Global Vision

Bowen Yu was a student at Peking University, earning an undergraduate degree and working with the school’s Visualization and Visual Analytics Group, when he heard that Claudio Silva would be teaching at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Suddenly, the choice of where to study for his doctoral degree became plain. “In addition to the chance to study with Professor Silva, the School of Engineering is a great choice for anyone interested in data visualization, simply because of the enormous amount of data available in New York City,” he explains.

Yu arrived here in 2012 and later began working on developing software that will aid biologists studying the gene regulatory network, which determines how genes interact with one another and plays an important role in every crucial life process, including cell differentiation and metabolism. He collaborates with members of the NYU Center for Genomics and Systems Biology. Yu is the lead author of a paper, “Genotet: An Interactive Web-based Visual Exploration Framework to Support Validation of Gene Regulatory Networks,” that has been accepted for presentation at the next IEEE VAST conference, a premier gathering for those interested in Visual Analytics Science and Technology.

The 2014 meeting is being held in Paris, but his work has already taken him even further afield.

This past summer, he and teammates Fabian Gundlach and Danilo Neves Ribeiro, both NYU Courant exchange students, traveled to Ekaterinburg, Russia, to participate in the Association for Computing Machinery’s International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM-ICPC), an annual multi-tiered programming competition for university students from around the world. Bagel-Flavored Debugging, as they dubbed the team, triumphed in the competition and was named the North American champion. Professor Nasir Memon, the head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, said of the victory, “This is another in a long line of exciting news coming out of the department. We were proud to have Bowen representing us in Russia, and being chosen to present at IEEE VAST 2014 is another great accomplishment for him.”

Yu has no doubt that he made the right decision when he came to Brooklyn. He is grateful to be associated with not only Claudio Silva, but with his colleagues in the genomics lab, his fellow “Debuggers,” and Harish Doraiswamy, a supportive postdoc in his research group. “Overall, the School of Engineering has provided me with the opportunity to work with these outstanding people, so that I can learn, think and improve,” he said.