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(650) 299-5260

2011 - Kuang Xu

Kuang Xu is a Capitol Hill lobbyist, a competitive ballroom dancer, and a researcher seeking to optimize the performance of large-scale databases.

He is pursuing both a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.  His graduate research focuses on stochastic network algorithms and resource allocation to answer questions like how often static data should be updated to maximize performance and minimize costs for large databases, or how the randomness of tasks impacts performance.

Kuang collaborates with researchers from different fields working on the same problem from different angles, applying their expertise in such areas as economics, game theory, and electrical engineering, among others.  The models that he is developing are not specific to a particular machine or particular industry, so any database architect could apply Kuang’s research to their needs.  This general application is one of the aspects he likes most about his work; the results can be used in economics to optimize costs or computer science to increase computational efficiency, for example.

As a hobby, Kuang began ballroom dance classes as an Electrical Engineering undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. When he arrived at MIT, he discovered that it has one of the largest competitive collegiate dance teams, and earned a place there as a Latin dancer.  Kuang is also committed to helping graduate students, both at MIT as a co-chair of orientation, for example, and more broadly as a policy advocate.  Through MIT’s Graduate Student Council Legislative Actions Sub-Committee, Kuang lobbies members of Congress to ensure that grad student issues are heard.  Two of his current advocacy topics include public access to federally funded research and increases in H1-B visa quotas for foreign advanced-degree holders educated in the United States.