Empower Students with Technology

Over the past decade, their career accomplishment has been a part of WKU’s past 10-years legacy. Whether they pushed forward WKU’s advancement or WKU accelerated their personal growth? It is no longer a significant issue since they have integrated as a whole during the process, just like the enduring love between them…

The protagonists of this story are Prof. Tiffany and Prof. Pinata from the College of Science and Technology at WKU. With firm beliefs, respect, and supports along the way, together, they have traveled from mainland China to Canada, Hong Kong, and finally back to the mainland. 2021 is the 23rd year they have been together as a couple, and the 10th year they have been teaching at WKU.

WKU is a Serendipity

Both Indonesians, Tiffany and Pinata, met at Jinan University in 1993. At that time, no one could predict a beautiful and long-term romance would be sprouted between these two distinguished young students. They then got their doctoral degree in computer science in Canada under the guidance of the same Ph.D. supervisor. In 2012, Tiffany first voted for the newborn WKU,when the university faced tremendous setbacks and enormous possibilities. She ascribed her decision to a word– “destiny”. Because of her previous schooling in China, coupled with international academic background, she fostered a keen sense of interest to work at a Sino-American university.

Meanwhile, the qualifications of the faculty were perfectly aligned with her needs, which seeks new challenges and opportunities. In 2013, one year after Tiffany joined WKU, Pinata also became a member of WKU. In the same year, they initialized Computer Science major at WKU.

“The past ten years saw remarkable progress of WKU ranging from campus layout, facilities, and infrastructures, as well as abundant resources in all aspects. However, the most obvious improvement is the enhancing working efficiency.”

Tiffany concluded her life at WKU with three words– “Fun, challenging, resourceful.” “Why you pick up the same words turned up in my mind!” Pinata “complained”. This is just another consensus between them.

With the rapid development of WKU, the number of students has dramatically increased, slowing down communication. But they have been trying to strengthen the connection with students through creating a mutual support group between alumni and undergraduate students or holding various meetings to share the opinions and thoughts of students.

Never be Defeated!

“Studying at WKU is full of challenges. For instance, on the one hand, we are under the supervision and regulation of Kean USA, which ensures the educational outcomes are in line with international standards; on the other hand, we are challenged by inadequate localization. ” “That’s life! Nothing is perfect. Challenges will be the flip side of opportunities.  Instead of regarding them as a limitation, we’d better embrace them as motivation. Only in this way will we defeat difficulties. Never be defeated, nor underestimate yourself. I always inspire my students in this way.” Tiffany said.

Luckily, their students have perfectly “inherited” these unyielding and adventurous spirits. In the past few years, they have witnessed the fabulous transformations of hundreds of students starting from WKU, which was the constant fuel to keeping them at WKU.

“Several weeks ago, our students from Grade 2019 told us that he got a promotion in ByteDance. After graduating from WKU, He received an offer from ByteDance, engaging himself in building a recommendation system.” Tiffany was so proud of this since ByteDance is a top enterprise that applies the most advanced technology in the recommendation system. Being offered such a golden opportunity can be regarded as approval to WKU’s education quality.

The past ten years have been full of challenges and obstacles. For example, they started non-profit research about six years ago, utilizing IT technology to empower public welfare. Noticing that children with autism are influenced by different factors, including family environments, external stimuli, and show various symptoms, it is impossible to teach autistic children in conventional teaching methods. “Therefore, we created learning models for each individual via programming technology, helping these children to access personalized education. At first, we had neither sufficient funds nor related resources nor even the qualification to access the autism center. It was WKU that offered us generous supports and finally tackled this problem. Mr. Wang Beijiao, in particular, strongly supported us at that time.” Speaking of this, Tiffany couldn’t hold her tears back.

Technology Empowers Work and Life

The future society is driven by technology. Though it cannot be perceived, AI has already stepped into our daily life and affects every individual. With the surging of emerging technologies, the boundary between technology and human beings rises as a significant concern; related problems like information protection, trust, fairness, privacy… are the rising conundrums waiting to handle. They hope students in computer science could look beyond, keep an eye on the world outside of the class, follow the latest technologies, reach out a hand to others when needed, and make the best of technology to empower society.

One of the founders of speculative fiction literature, William Gibson, quotes,“The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.”Being a teacher, one should maintain a deeper insight into the life and contrive the future for students. Rooted deeply in the reality of China, maintaining such an acute observation of the industry, together with WKU’s career course, they will continue this significant undertaking.

Keep shooting for the stars~ 

A bright future awaits us! 


Writer:Alisa LAI,Yuhan ZHU,Yanran WANG,Danmin LIN