The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Yang to Speak in UMass Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series and Receive Chancellor's Medal

Jianhua (Joshua) Yang

Jianhua (Joshua) Yang

Professor Jianhua (Joshua) Yang of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department has been chosen as one of the speakers in the UMass Amherst Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series, which celebrates the value of academic excellence and recognizes the distinguished achievements of faculty. Those chosen for the series also receive the Chancellor's Medal, the highest honor bestowed upon faculty by the UMass campus. The proposed topic for Professor Yang’s talk is “Towards a Brain-like Computer.”

According to College of Engineering Dean Sanjay Raman, “Since joining the University of Massachusetts from industry in 2015, Dr. Yang has established himself as one of the world’s premier researchers in memristor technology, an emerging digital storage technology for massive quantities of data.”

Dean Raman goes on to say that “Most recently, [Dr. Yang] has applied this technology to the implementation of scalable, extremely fast machine learning applications. This growing area of artificial intelligence holds the promise of improving the functionality of self-driving cars, assisting medical patient care, and exploring the universe, among many other fascinating applications.”

Yang is the head of the The Ionic and Electronic Device and Materials (IEDM) Group in the ECE department. His current research interests are nanoelectronics and nanoionics, especially for computing applications, for which he has published a number of field-defining papers, with over 3,700 citations per year. He holds 115 granted and about 60 pending U.S. Patents, most of which have been transferred to industry for commercialization.

Before joining UMass in 2015, he spent more than eight years at HP Labs, leading the materials and devices team. He obtained his Ph.D. in 2007 from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in the Material Science Program.

During his tenure at UMass, Yang has published over 80 papers, 24 of which are at the most prestigious and well-known journals in his inter-disciplinary field, such as Nature, Science, Nature Materials, Nature Electronics, and Nature Machine Intelligence. He has been the principal investigator on $6 million in grants since arriving at UMass and has supervised 10 doctoral students. Among his more than 50 invited talks since 2015, about 20 are plenary or keynote speeches in prestigious international conferences, including at the Nature Conference. He also organized a number of conferences and symposiums, including initiating UMass-MIT joint workshops on neuromorphic computing. (January 2020)