Phd defense marks 'once-in-a-lifetime' event for Yang and Qi

As Assistant Professor Liang Qi's first student to earn his PhD, Chaoming Yang represents an important milestone in Qi's career.
Phd defense marks 'once-in-a-lifetime' event for Yang and Qi

Screen shots of Chaoming Yang (left) and Assistant Professor Liang Qi during Yang's Ph.D. defense via BlueJeans, April 2

On April 2, Chaoming Yang defended his Ph.D. thesis, marking a special milestone not just for him, but also for his advisor, Assistant Professor Liang Qi.

"The first Ph.D. student dissertation defense is a big moment in any assistant professor’s career, and any Ph.D. defense is a once in-a-lifetime milestone for the student,” commented MSE chair Amit Misra.

Yang joined Qi's group in Fall 2015 and said he chose Qi for an advisor because he was interested in his previous work that revealed intrinsic mechanical properties with first-principles calculations, and also because he found the idea of being the first graduate student of a Ph.D. advisor appealing.

"I learned so much from Professor Qi," Yang began, and then listed: "One, we should always pay attention to every detail of each step in academic research; two, how to communicate with others effectively, including thinking from others' perspectives in communications; and three, that we should always be humble and keep learning." 

In June, Yang plans to move to California to work for Google as a Level 4 software engineer. 

"Chaoming is intelligent and hard-working," said Qi. "It has been a great pleasure and a privilege for me to guide him to reach his current achievements. I appreciate the contributions that he has made to our group. I am confident that he will enjoy a bright future in his new adventure."

Congratulations to Chaoming and Liang!