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UT Prepares PhD Student for Assistant Professor Role

The research Yi Wu performed and the guidance he received in the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science provided the foundation for his new professional career.

Wu has secured a tenure-track assistant professor position in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oklahoma, beginning in January 2025. Wu, who is defending his thesis this summer, joined Assistant Professor Jian Liu’s lab in the Fall of 2019.

“This accomplishment is not only a significant milestone for Yi, but also a testament to the quality of education and mentorship provided by our department and the college,” Liu said. “His journey from a doctoral student to a faculty member is a compelling narrative that can motivate and guide our current PhD students who aspire to pursue careers in academia.”

Wu’s Accomplishments While at UT

Wu’s research interests encompass the areas of embedded/wearable computational sensing software, cybersecurity and privacy, and smart fitness tracking. He was honored as the department’s Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant in 2023 and has published more than 10 top-tier conference papers in the fields of security, mobile computing, and human-computer interaction.

Jian Liu“Without UT, I wouldn’t be in this position to get this job offer,” said Wu, who will participate in a postdoctoral program at Emory University in Atlanta during the fall semester. “Professor Liu helped me the most, with everything from doing the research to preparing the travel application materials. Dr. Hairong Qi also gave me very useful comments and wrote a great letter of recommendation for me.”

Wu was Liu’s first PhD student. Watching Wu’s development at UT has only provided Liu with more motivation to help other students achieve their personal and professional goals.

“I firmly believe that the true measure of faculty careers is the success of their students,” Liu said. “Yi’s accomplishments are a shining example of this, and I am honored to have been a part of his academic journey. I look forward to seeing all the remarkable things he will achieve in the future.


Rhiannon Potkey (865-974-0683,