Yihua Xu

Alum’s Collaboration with BU MET Faculty Inspired Him to Pursue PhD

Yihua Xu
Computer Science PhD Student
Illinois Institute of Technology
Master of Science in Computer Science (MET’20)

Tell us a little about what you’re doing now.
Now I am studying for a PhD in computer science at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

What led you to pursue your master’s degree at BU MET?
There were several factors that led me to choose MET. First of all, the research field of Professor Shengzhi Zhang was exactly what I was interested in. That was the key point that made me transfer to BU MET from another school. For two academic years, I worked with Professor Zhang on several research projects. Eventually, a paper called “EnclavePDP: A General Framework to Verify Data Integrity in Cloud Using Intel SGX” was published in RAID 2020. Those experiences reinforced my idea of pursuing a PhD degree.

In addition, BU MET offered classes at night, which gave me more freedom during the day. I hate to be interrupted when I am focused on research. BU MET made it easy to pursue my own schedule in the daytime, and take courses at night. That allowed me to maintain a balance between school and home life. Third, Boston is an attractive city with a deep sense of history and a strong academic environment. There are lots of tourist attractions and world-famous universities such as Harvard, MIT and BU. Along the Freedom Trail, I learned about American history, and I enjoyed tourist attractions such as the State House.

Professor Yuting Zhang also gave me lots of help. She patiently answered my questions, no matter how easy or complex they were. For example, I took her course, Mobile Application Development (MET CS 683), but I had never learned or used Java before, so I had to repeatedly meet with Professor Zhang to resolve my questions. At the end of the course, I finished a chat app. When I applied for a PhD program, I asked her to write recommendation letters for me for several universities. She was always happy to do that.

Do you have anything else to add?
I want to give students at BU MET or people preparing to apply to MET a suggestion, which is don’t be shy about talking to professors, because they are willing to help us improve ourselves.

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