Congratulations to Lei Bai who received the Outstanding HDR student award as part of the UNSW Engineering Excellence Awards. Mr Lei Bai’s research focuses on Spatial-temporal Learning, which is a prominent topic in Machine Learning and Data Mining, and could support a wide range of applications such as intelligent transportation systems, human behaviour analysis, epidemic transmission control, and environment and climate management.

During his PhD candidature, Lei mainly explored deep spatial-temporal learning algorithms for the multi-modal correlated time series. He targets on three crucial problems in the area: 1) complex and dynamic spatiotemporal correlations, 2) diverse influential multi-modal extraneous factors; 3) spatiotemporal pattern drifts and divergence. Lei overcame these challenges by developing a set of discriminative and robust deep learning approaches. In turn for his efforts, Lei has published 15 peer-reviewed papers on flagship AI conferences and prestigious journals such as NeurIPS, IJCAI, UbiComp, and KDD. He has also been awarded the distinguished 2020 Google PhD Fellowship in Machine Learning.

A/Prof. Lina Yao said, “Lei is a highly self-motivated and focused PhD student, who is always eager to improve himself and make achievements in his research. In the past three years, he has dedicated to spatial-temporal data mining and conducted extensive investigations.I am so proud of what Lei has achieved and believe he has the potential to become an influential researcher in the machine learning and data mining area.”

Prof. Salil Kanhere added, “Lei is full of curiosity and very eager to learn, which are very important for computer science researchers due to the rapid evolution. Except for these, Lei also actively takes part in professional activities and services such as conference program committee, research symposiums, and journal review. I believe he will make more fancy outcomes and contributions to the community in the future.”

Commenting on the award, Lei said, “I am so honoured to receive the award. Having the chance to work on Spatial-Temporal Learning with excellent researchers in UNSW (such as my supervisors Scientia A/Prof. Lina Yao and Prof. Salil Kanhere) is the best thing in my life. I appreciate my supervisors, collaborators, and UNSW so much for their support and help during my PhD. Our world is organized spatially and keeps evolving temporally, which is always fascinating and attracts me to explore how different entities/systems interact and influence each other. Hope I can dig deeper in the topic and generate more interesting works to facilitate the understanding and optimization of read-world systems.”

Finally, Aaron Quigley the Head of School in Computer Science and Engineering remarked that “School of Computer Science and Engineering strives to provide a challenging yet supportive environment for our research students and to nurture the next generation of scientists.”