Tang earns NSF CAREER award for research into artificial intelligence

September 27, 2021

An assistant professor in Mississippi State’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has earned the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation.

Bo Tang, headshot

Electrical & computer engineering assistant professor Bo Tang has earned the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation. (photo by Russ Houston / © Mississippi State University)

Bo Tang has earned a $500,000 grant from the NSF to study the lifelong learning capabilities of artificial intelligence systems. The goal of the research project, titled “Career: Towards Biologically Inspired Lifelong Learning with Multimodal Association,” is to develop an artificial intelligence that better accumulates knowledge and learns multimodality association.

“I am deeply honored to receive this prestigious award to support our artificial intelligence research,” Tang said. “The success of this research will advance fundamental knowledge in artificial intelligence and will have the potential to transform how the field creates human-like artificial intelligence with lifelong learning capability.”

The ability to learn continuously is crucial if artificial intelligence systems are to achieve high levels of performance, flexibility and adaptation. This is especially important when AI systems are interacting with the real world and processing streaming sensory data. Tang’s research will investigate biologically inspired lifelong learning methods that incorporate characteristics of the mammalian brain, arguably the best learning system the world has seen.

“The architectures and methods we will be developing will be under the umbrella of a new lifelong learning framework,” Tang said. “This will enable effective and efficient interactions between learning and memory in deep neural networks.”

Tang received his bachelor’s degree from Central South University in 2007 and a master’s degree from Institute of Electronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2010. He earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Rhode Island in 2016. Before joining the Bagley College of Engineering faculty, he worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Hofstra University.

In addition to the NSF CAREER Award, Tang earned the NIJ New Investigator/Early Career Award in 2018. That year, he also claimed the Best Paper Award at the IEEE Annual Computing and Communication Workshop and Conference.

Tang joins a list of recent Mississippi State engineering faculty to win the CAREER Award. Recent recipients of the honor include Jean Mohammadi-Aragh, Ali Gurbuz, Wenmeng “Meg” Tian and Neeraj Rai.

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a National Science Foundation (NSF)-wide activity that supports early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education.

Mississippi State’s Bagley College of Engineering is online at www.bagley.msstate.edu and can be found on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and YouTube at @msuengineering.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

By Philip Allison