Zhen Han

Who are you and what do you do? Who are your partners?
I’m Zhen Han, a Ph.D. student of the Institute for Informatics at the University of Munich. My research interests include machine learning on graphs, natural language processing, and time-series analysis. Specifically, the time-evolving multi-relational graphs play a key role in my research. They can be seen as time-series of graphs that exhibit temporal dynamics, graph characteristics, and semantic meaning. My industrial partner is HUAWEI. We will together develop exciting industrial applications of graph machine learning.

How long have you been with Software Campus and why are you in the program?
I applied for the Software Campus in spring 2021, and my project officially starts in 2022. Software Campus provides a great chance for scientific researchers to build connections with industry and evaluate the research findings on real-world industrial problems. Besides, the funding enables me to build my own research team, which will help me learn how to manage a team and enhance my leadership skills.

What is the content of your IT project and how could it be applied in the future?
Reasoning has long been considered an essential topic in Artificial Intelligence research. Nowadays, AI systems achieve great success on perceptional tasks. However, reasoning tasks, which require cognitive abilities, are not well solved yet. Many industrial scenarios require utilizing both static and dynamic multi-relational data to support decision-making and improve the industrial chain. For example, predictive maintenance is a key technology to minimize downtime. To achieve this, we need to model the static machinery structural dependencies, e.g., hyponymy relations between different parts, the temporal information from the sensors on the parts, and the historical maintenance records of different parts. However, jointly modeling static facts and temporal events is quite challenging. In our project, we aim to propose a framework that can effectively model both static and dynamic multi-relational data to perform reasoning tasks. Further details can be found on our project website.

Do you have any funny/exciting/surprising memories associated with computer science? What fascinates you about computer science?
The most surprising memory was the moment when AlphaGo beat top human players. It demonstrates the superior power of computer science, in particular artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence (AI) can innovate every industry, and thus, society. I want to talk about the potential of AI to improve fairness in education. Education is an essential aspect of human development. Classic education highly depends on human teachers, and thus, suffers from unbalanced education resources and quality. AI will help teach children from poor regions by intelligent, adaptive, and personalized learning systems. I think it’s a promising way to better distribute education resources and let everyone have the chance to get well educated.

If you could reach all people with one sentence, what would you tell the world?
Life is short, focus on what really matters.