53 Game-changers: Tao Shu

Joining the faculty of Auburn was a no-brainer for Tao Shu. Even as a doctoral student at the University of Arizona, he knew of Auburn’s national reputation in wireless engineering.

Knowledgeable of that, he jumped at the opportunity to join Auburn Engineering as an assistant professor of computer science and software engineering in 2016.

He started his career as a senior engineer at Qualcomm Atheros Inc. before serving on the faculty at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, for five years.

Shu’s work is helping advance the body of knowledge in this field and focuses on ensuring security, privacy and quality in wireless networking systems.

“Today’s wireless device is very complicated,” said Shu, who also earned a doctorate in communication and information systems from Tsinghua University in China. “It’s much more than a communication device. Actually, it’s an integration of sensing, computing, cognition, storage and also communication.”

With the increasing complexity of these devices and the amount of sensitive data they store, Shu and his colleagues in Auburn’s wireless engineering program are conducting research with the goal of optimizing performance and ensuring users’ security and privacy.

Researchers like Shu are also trying to unlock the full potential of these wireless systems and devices.

By studying the fundamentals of these data-driven, contextually aware systems, he and his colleagues hope to apply this model to other systems that can enhance people’s quality of life, such as smart health, intelligent transportation and other uses.

“Tomorrow’s wireless technology will be closely coupled with our daily lives in ways that were previously unimaginable to us,” Shu said.

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