Aydin Aysu and Tianfu Wu Named Goodnight Early Career Innovators

Congratulations to our two faculty members, Aydin Aysu and Tianfu Wu, for being recognized as a Goodnight Early Career Innovator!

Aydin Aysu and Tianfu Wu are announced as 2021-2022 Goodnight Early Career Innovators. This program recognizes and rewards promising NC State early-career faculty whose scholarship is in STEM or STEM education.

The Provost’s Office oversees the Goodnight Early Career Innovators Award program, which was established in 2021. The program recognizes and rewards tenure-track assistant professors who demonstrate early productivity in STEM or STEM education research and innovation.

Recipients receive $22,000 annually for three years. Possible uses for the prize fund include research materials; travel and meal expenses associated with professional travel; scholarly publications; support for undergraduates, graduate students or faculty working with the professor; and summer salary stipends.

To be eligible for consideration, outstanding faculty must be nominated by their college. The number of nominations for each participating college has been set, based on the number of tenure-track assistant professors in that college. Each participating college shall identify a committee of full professors, preferably professors of distinction, to vet college nominees and determine which ones will move forward for university-level review.

Nominees were evaluated based on evidence of early productivity in research and innovation, which may include a strong early record of scholarly publication or dissemination appropriate to their discipline, external funding or recognition as an early career leader in their field. Thirty-nine faculty members were nominated for the award and 25 faculty members were selected for the class of 2021-2022 Goodnight Early Career Innovators.

Aysu conducts research on cybersecurity with an emphasis on hardware-based security. The focus of his research is the development of secure systems that prevent advanced cyber attacks targeting hardware vulnerabilities. To that end, his research interests cover applied cryptography, computer architecture, and digital hardware design. He also works on cybersecurity education and the societal impacts of cybersecurity. Aysu received his bachelor’s degree in microelectronics engineering with a mathematics minor and his master’s degree in electrical engineering from Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey in 2008 and 2010, respectively. He received his Ph.D. degree in computer engineering from Virginia Tech in 2016 and was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Texas at Austin before he joined NC State.

Wu is currently the PI of the laboratory of interpretable Visual Modeling, Computing and Learning (iVMCL). His research focuses on computer vision, often motivated by the task of building explainable and improvable visual turing tests and robot autonomy through life-long communicative learning. To accomplish his research goals, he is interested in pursuing a unified framework for machines to ALTER (Ask, Learn, Test, Explain and Refine) recursively in a principled way. He received his Ph.D. in statistics from UCLA in 2011.

Congratulations to our two faculty members, Aydin Aysu and Tianfu Wu, for being recognized as a Goodnight Early Career Innovator!

Aydin Aysu

Assistant Professor

Tianfu Wu

Assoc Professor
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