Lu Yining: Academic Excellence (GRE330 + 4/TOEFL 104/GPA 3.89/0.17% Finalists of MCM/ICM) Inspires Him to Pursue Further Study

Lu Yining, a student majoring in Mathematical Sciences (Data Analytics Option), has received offers from Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University for his academic success at WKU (GRE330+4/TOEFL 104/GPA 3.89). He was even nominated as the Outstanding Winner in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM/ICM), and the proportion of winners was only 0.17%.

Step by step, he turned his dreams into reality.

01 From Individual Brilliance to Team Success

In 2020, Lu Yining participated in the Zhejiang Open Data Innovation Contest alone. One year later, Lu became the leader of the modeling team at WKU. Together with his teammates, Qiu Yang from Computer Science and Lyu Yanting from Global Business, the team was nominated as the Outstanding Winner in 2021 MCM/ICM.

The key to their success lies in the division of labor. Lu was responsible for establishing mathematical models, Lyu’s work focused on thesis writing and economy-related contest questions, and Qiu mainly contributed to programming solutions and data visualization. During the four-day competition, the team spent 15 to 18 hours per day and even worked on the project for 36 hours nonstop in the final stretch. “It was very fulfilling to get everyone moving in the same direction,” recalled Lu. He believed that teamwork was the force behind success and that every team member should make use of their expertise where it is needed most to the greatest extent.

02 My Dream Took Off in WKU and Big Companies

In September 2021, Lu was recommended by Gaurav Gupta, Coordinator of the mathematics department, to work as a consultant in Findability Science. In this multinational company, Lu was responsible for establishing a real-time first-price auction model. Lu also shared co-first authorship with his classmate Lu Changjie in completing a paper titled Embedding Reward Functions in Operations Research for Multi-agent Automatic Bidding, which was submitted to IEEE Transaction (Impact factor 10.2).

When talking about the experience, Lu said, “It was a challenge for us to build a real-time model while taking into account its self-learning ability, time complexity, and its capability to get feedback from the environment.”

In 2021, Lu took a summer internship at NetEase headquarters in Hangzhou as an algorithm developer. He developed a risk control model and an abnormal user detection model for two projects, and both were put into use. The three-month internship gave Lu broader access to big data resources and development platforms. He also had the chance to experience how professional data scientists developed models in the workplace.

03 WKU Unlocks Unlimited Possibilities of My Life

During his four years at WKU, Lu was accompanied by many great teachers and friends. In particular, Gaurav Gupta offered him great support and help in academic study, scientific research, competition, and life. “Mr. Gupta was our adviser in MCM/ICM, and it was with his help that I could take the intern job in a multinational company. From him, I learned how to interact with others too.”

Lu’s story reveals the infinite possibilities of youth and how they find brilliance in ordinary life. He also put what he learned into practice. For example, he applied his expertise in statistical modules and deep learning to construct a new meta-learning network framework and establish a subjective problem evaluation model for WKU in his graduation project. All evaluation results could be easily attained by inputting students’ answers and standard answers. In addition, under the guidance of Dr. Gaurav Gupta, Lu and another three students established the AI-Lab for the College of Science and Technology and provided WKU students with a wide array of workshops regarding mainstream research topics in the field of artificial intelligence.

A dream has the magical power to guide us toward a brighter future. At present, Lu has received offers from Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University. He will keep moving forward on his journey to academic success and pursue a doctoral degree in the future.