By Glenn McDonald
Ideas are the lifeblood of universities, and Danyang Zhuo – new assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Duke – has a lot of ideas. Zhuo works in the area of systems and networking, the fundamental framework of our increasingly interconnected world.
“My focus is on building efficient and reliable data center systems, like cloud operating systems, distributed computing frameworks, and data center-scale computer networks,” Zhuo says. It sounds complex – and it is – but Zhuo is fast to underline the fact that these ideas and technologies have enormous practical benefits in the world. “For example, if you are a start-up company and you don’t have the kind of infrastructure you need,” Zhuo clarifies. “Or you have video data you want to process, or need to do machine learning. With cloud computing, you can do this reliably and efficiently.”
Zhuo is looking forward to working with students and new colleagues to advance this kind of bedrock computer science. He hopes to prepare students to be good independent thinkers in a world where technology changes fast. Zhuo’s plan is to educate students on computer systems principles and also help them develop the ability to reason and adapt to change.
Previously a postdoctoral researcher at RISE Lab at the University of California-Berkeley, Zhuo says he’s thrilled to have landed in Durham. So why Duke? “The main reason is that Duke is one of the very best universities in the world,” Zhuo says with a smile. “Also, I’ve read papers from many of the faculty, I know their work. I look forward to collaborating with the people here.”
Zhuo says there’s one more reason he’s particularly happy to be at Duke: “I visited campus during my last trip here, and Duke is just … delightful,” Zhuo says. “I love the Duke Gardens. It’s so beautiful here.”