Student Spotlight: Hao Zhang

Get to Know Hao Zhang | Cohort 1

I was mainly focusing on the multi scale analysis of material science ... In the coarse scale, the properties of materials are basically homogeneous. But if we zoom in ... we will see a lot of fine scale structures. [If you] want to perform the numerical simulation of the multiscale analysis of materials, we need to do a lot of computations in the fine scale structure ... [which] is very expensive. We need to solve our very complicated boundary value problems. So in order to address this, this computation challenge, we developed a physics informed machine learning technique to help us to solve the multiscale simulation[s].

 – Hao Zhang (he/Him)

Hao Zhang

Hao earned his bachelor's degree (2016) and master's degree (2019) from Tsinghua University. He has also received a double master's degree in Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen university (2019). At Duke, he works with Johann Guilleminot.


Q: What's been key in getting you close to the finish line?

A: The key thing is that we collaborate with some mathematicians! My partner is project is Yixin Tan - he's a student of Professor Jianfeng Lu at mathematics. So I think they are really good at the PDE parts... [and] they used their professional skills to help us to solve this mathematical problem.

Q: What's your favorite part of research?

A: You need to come up with your own idea... [and then] you need to have a lot of discussions with your advisor, with your collaborators, with your colleagues. During that discussion, your ideas will become more and more clear and you have a better vision about the problem that you're going to solve. I think that's a really good experience. It's like having a baby right? Initially, the baby is very young. But generally, when you feed [them], I mean, [they] will grow up, and then you will see what they really become. This is a very amazing, really amazing experience.

Q: You're graduating soon! What are you thinking your next steps will be?

A: I want to continue to do the research. [But] I'm still deciding if I need to do the research in industry or academia. I think my professor has really showed an example for me how to do research. So I think I really this motivated me to continue my research paths in the future.