College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Meet the new ECpE faculty member: Cheng Wang

Starting this fall, Cheng Wang is a new professor for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE). Wang brings extensive experience and research to the department. The following Q and A is a chance to get to know Wang as the semester begins.

Background and history

“I grew up in the city of Xi’an, the ancient capital of China since the 11 Century BC. I received my bachelor’s degree from Peking University, and Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin.

Before coming to Iowa State, I was a Research Scientist at the Center for Brain-Inspired Computing at Purdue University. Prior to joining Purdue, I worked as an R&D engineer in Seagate Research Center at California for three years.”

Choosing Iowa State

“Iowa State has a prestigious electrical and computer engineering program, and I see the department is offering exciting opportunities of growth. I used to live in Minnesota, and my family really enjoyed and missed living in Midwest. Moreover, I enjoyed my communications with Iowa State throughout my interview and visit, and I feel so fortunate to meet many of the genuine and collegial faculty and staff.”

Research specialties

“My research area is about next-generation computing technologies. Particularly, I am interested in exploring beyond-CMOS technologies for emerging computational workloads such as machine learning. This is a rapidly evolving area, and it requires significant cross-layer endeavor towards the goal of developing high-performing and efficient novel computational systems.”

Looking ahead

“I am most excited to start running my own research program. I have recently worked on several topics on beyond-CMOS computing, analog in-memory computing, and neuromorphic computing. There are many exciting research directions that can be built upon my recent research and may lead to strong impacts in the research community. Furthermore, since the research area of emerging computing is by nature cross-disciplinary, I am looking forward to seeking in-depth collaborations with my colleagues at Iowa State.

“In addition, I am also thinking about preparing for a course that is closely related to my research. I firmly believe that in the age of machine learning with the slowdown of Moore’s law, understanding a little bit about some recent trend in the development of next-generation computers will be of great interest and very important to the next-generation talents.”

What students can expect

“Overall, I think I will be a friendly, nice, and fair professor. Students in my classes may find my lectures and exams challenging, but I want to share my passion and interest in the taught content. And I will do my best to make sure that if a student put great efforts in the course, he/she won’t have to be stressed about grades.” 

Fun fact

“I like soccer a lot (but I also watch football). Over the years I still play some soccer pickup games occasionally, although I might be getting slower.”