Post-doctoral researcher Dr Yang Zheng joined the SAIL (formerly VAS) group earlier this month, and so we asked him to share his research interests and plans for the future.

Where were you working before you came to Imperial?

I completed my PhD in February 2019 at the University of Oxford. My research explored how the properties of chordal graphs can be used to develop new scalable methods for the control and optimisation of large-scale systems. Following on from here, I moved to Harvard to work as a post-doc where I have continued to explore learning, optimization, and control of network systems, and their applications to autonomous vehicles and traffic systems.

What will your role be in the SAIL (formerly VAS) group?

I will be working on VENUS as part of the DARPA Assured Autonomy project: this requires using a combination of machine learning methods (feed-forward neural network architectures) to enhance autonomy safely, with mathematically verifiable approaches to develop specifications for the verification of the safety of these autonomous systems. It’s very exciting to work in such a fast-growing area, where trust and safety are key.

Can you tell us about what you have enjoyed doing during lockdown?

I’ve learnt how to cook! My wife and I have started having HelloFresh parcels delivered, and we’ve been learning to cook using their recipes!

We look forward to Yang using his newly-discovered cooking skills to bake cakes for the team!