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Information Processing

Information processing has been studied for 50 years at Computer Science of Tsinghua. A new age of information processing is being derived from the boom of Web, with the rising challenges of large scale unstructured data and new way of human-computer interaction. Our research aims to derive academic achievements on information processing theories and methodologies from these scientific challenges, and contribute to the new technologies and applications to support development of the country. We also demonstrate to leverage multidisciplinary knowledge, such as mathematics, computer science, cognitive science, neural science, brain and psychology science, in our research, in an effort to explore future directions, promote the theory, and extend the capabilities of information processing.

The research work in information processing mainly includes the following four directions: theory, methodology of information processing, Web search technologies and applications, intelligent control theory and applications. The area has been founded by the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC), National Basic Research Program (973 program), the National High-Tech R&D Program (863 program), and international cooperation. In particular, our research on fundamental scientific problems gets two consecutive supports by National Natural Science Foundation Fund for Creative Research Groups with the topic of “Theory and methodology of intelligent information processing”, and also granted by several Key projects of NSFC, such as “Cognitive Computing of Visual and Auditory Information”. On the other hand of technical and application research projects, we are leading the National Major Science & Technology Specific Projects: Detector Platform for PVD Equipment, and Clustered Control Platform and Software, the fund of which is around 20 million RMB. The research on Internet information acquisition is supported by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) with 1 million CAD$.

We have published a large number of high-quality papers in both high-level international journals and top conferences, such as Journal of Artificial Intelligence, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, IEEE Transactions on Computers, Information and Computation, ACM Transactions on Computational Logic, Physical Review Letters, Physical Review A, Quantum Information & Computation, Theoretical Computer Science, IEEE Trans. on Automatic Control, IEEE Trans. on Neural Networks, IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems, IEEE transactions on circuits and systems for video technology, Journal of machine learning research, IEEE Trans. on Industrial Electronics, Sensors, Automatica, NIPS, IJCAI, AAAI, WWW, CVPR, ICML, SIGKDD, SIGIR, ICDM, ACM MM, ACL etc. In particular, our theory group has regularly published papers in top international journals and conferences, and the papers have been widely cited by other researchers, including many from leading US and EU institutions, e.g. MIT, UIUC, U. Penn., UCLA (USA); Oxford, Southampton (UK), INRIA, Univ. Paris VII, Ecole Polytechnique (France), CWI, Eindhoven (Netherlands).

We have also made active collaborations with international research institutions and industry. Five joint research centers have been established, including center for neural and cognitive computation, which consists of many faculty members from the Departments of Computer Science, Biomedical Engineering, Psychology, and the School of Life Sciences in Tsinghua as well as nine distinguished chair professors from UCSF, UCL, JHU, Yale, NYU and JHU; Tsinghua-Waterloo joint research center for internet information acquisition; Tsinghua-NUS extreme search research center; Tsinghua-HP multimedia joint research center; and Tsinghua-Sohu joint research laboratory on search technology.

We have secured numerous awards from the State Council, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education, and the Association of Science and Technology of China. The work on “Non-Classical Computation: Formal Models and Logical Foundations” has been awarded the National Nature Science Award, which is the top nature science research award in China. And the work of “Research, Development and Industrialization of 100nm High-Density Plasma Etching Machines” has been awarded the National Science and Technology Progress Award, which is the top science and technology award in China. Our work of the integrated platform on the large scale multi-modal Web content processing has served and given enormous leverage in Chinese government and multiple departments of provinces in China, which is reported to have reduced 76 million RMB government operation cost per year.

High quality PhD students have also been trained through intensive research in this direction: Yuan Feng was awarded the Chinese National Award for Best Ph.D thesis in 2006, Runyao Duan and Zhengfeng Ji won the Best Ph.D Thesis Award of the China Federation of Computing, respectively, in 2007 and 2008. (Recently, Zhengfeng Ji, together with Rahul Jain, Sarvagya Upadhyay and John Watrous, proved that QIP = PSPACE, and received the Best Paper Award of STOC 2010.)