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Faculty Spotlight: Mei-Ling Shyu

By Mei-Ling Shyu

Faculty Spotlight: Mei-Ling Shyu

By Mei-Ling Shyu
Get to know Mei-Ling Shyu in this faculty spotlight and why she is building a news detection system that uses deep learning and causal inference to help determine if news posted online is reliable.

Mei-Ling Shyu

  • Ph.D. from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University 
  • Professor of Database Management Systems, Data Mining, Agent Technology, and Big Data Analytics
  • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering at the University of Miami 
What do you want students to learn in your classes?

In this day and age, we have the privilege of experiencing the explosive growth of data. However, just experiencing the growth is very different from truly understanding and navigating it. To be able to use such huge amounts of data, students need to understand how a database system works and how to efficiently and effectively manage the data. In the database management systems class, students become masters in a topic that has proven to be an increasingly powerful tool.

Tell us about your research.

I conduct research in areas that impact society. One of my current projects involves building a news detection system that uses deep learning and causal inference to determine whether the news posted online is reliable. This tool could help the public detect satire, sarcasm, and purposefully misleading content in the news.

How are undergraduate students involved with research?

I supervise several undergraduate students each year, who work closely with my graduate students on research projects. Undergraduates are exposed to the advanced techniques in computer engineering, practice what they have learned in the class, and get scientific training. Several have also been invited to co-author publications!

How do you bring together your research and teaching?

The research I conduct allows me to bring the newest techniques and knowledge from the field back to my students. Conducting field research informs the structure of my course materials and the real-world case study projects I assign. I hope that this balance will inspire students to apply the knowledge learned in class to their own interests and new technologies.

What are your goals as a professor?

As a professor, I believe you have two main obligations to students: to provide technical knowledge and to inspire. I design and develop course materials to prepare my students with the background necessary for entering graduate and professional degree programs as well as careers in the industry. I also aim to inspire students through real-world case studies so that they can understand how the information they learn applies to the real world. A disconnect sometimes exists for students between what they learn in class and why it matters. I try to bridge this gap in my courses because I believe that a student does not truly grasp a subject until they can apply it to problems outside of the classroom.

Mei-Ling Shyu is a professor at the College of Engineering.