Xin Li Appointed Director of Institute of Applied Physical Science & Engineering and Data Science Research Center at Duke Kunshan

Xin Li, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University and Duke Kunshan University, has been appointed as the director of the new Institute of Applied Physical Science and Engineering (iAPSE) and the Data Science Research Center (DSRC) at Duke Kunshan University.

“Dr. Li is an internationally renowned scientist in electrical engineering and data analytics, and has extensive experience in research and advanced manufacturing,” said Denis Simon, executive vice chancellor of Duke Kunshan. “We expect that iAPSE and DSRC, along with other collaborators at Duke and Duke Kunshan, to initiate, drive and lead the ‘Eastern Silicon Valley’ with high-tech industry in Kunshan and the world at large.” 

Under Dr. Li’s leadership, iAPSE will aim to develop education programs and research centers in applied sciences and engineering to enable interdisciplinary collaboration, global leadership and knowledge in service to society. As one of these research centers under iAPSE, DSRC’s mission is to impact broad communities of science, engineering, medicine, policy and business by inventing transformative algorithms, tools and methodologies for data analytics.

Dr. Li is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which recognizes outstanding and unusual professional achievements of IEEE members. Less than 0.1 percent of voting members are selected annually for this member grade elevation.

Dr. Li’s inventions are making critical contributions in many interdisciplinary areas related to health informatics and smart community and affecting people’s everyday lives. Most recently, for example, Dr. Li’s interests lie in applying big data analysis in language environment for early childhood education, intelligent building information system, and self-driving vehicles, etc. The long-term objective of his research is to enhance our life quality, including comfort, reliability and safety, by adopting artificial intelligence into our daily life.

 “I am extremely proud to accept this position at Duke Kunshan, as I see enormous opportunities to nurture high-end talent, develop innovative technologies, and facilitate industrial transformation in China today”, said Dr. Li.

In his research career, Dr. Li has invented numerous novel algorithms, tools and methodologies for data analytics, and they have been adopted and commercialized to produce products that have wide impacts on everyone on this planet, including smart phone, search engine, self-driving vehicle and virtual reality devices.

In 2005, he co-founded Xigmix Inc. to commercialize his Ph.D. research, and served as the Chief Technical Officer until the company was acquired by Extreme DA in 2007. In 2011, Extreme DA was further acquired by Synopsis (Nasdaq: SNPS). From 2009 to 2012, he was the Assistant Director for FCRP Focus Research Center for Circuit & System Solutions (C2S2), a national consortium of 13 research universities (CMU, MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, UIUC, UMich, Columbia, UCLA, among others) chartered by the U.S. semiconductor industry and U.S. Department of Defense to work on next-generation integrated circuit design challenges. From 2014 to 2015, he was the Assistant Director for the Center for Silicon System Implementation (CSSI), a CMU research center with 20 faculty members working on integrated circuits and systems. He is now on the Board of Directors for R&D Smart Devices (Hong Kong), X&L Holding (Hong Kong) and IVO Technology (Jiangsu, China). His entrepreneurship has successfully transformed fundamental technologies to commercial products that benefit a large population across the world. In addition, by training the undergraduate and graduate students at Duke Kunshan University with scientific knowledge, engineering skills and entrepreneur experience, Dr. Li will help to create a new generation of global technical leaders for today’s dynamically involving environment.  

Academically, a large body of his research focuses on data analytics for integrated circuit and semiconductor manufacturing where he led a number of impactful projects to model, analyze and optimize manufacturing variabilities. His work has been highly recognized by the community with six Best Paper Awards, including two IEEE Donald O. Pederson Best Paper Awards in 2013 and 2016 respectively, and has been extensively covered by the media.

Dr. Li joined Duke Kunshan University and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University in January 2017. Besides his research responsibilities at Duke Kunshan, he also develops education programs in applied sciences and engineering for graduate and undergraduate students. In his capacity at Duke, he looks to forge collaborations through Duke’s many strengths in areas such as microchip architecture and testing, brain-machine interfaces, and self-driving cars.

Dr. Li received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA in 2005, and the M.S. and B.S. degrees in Electronics Engineering from Fudan University, Shanghai, China in 2001 and 1998, respectively.