When Fangyu Wu applied to UC Berkeley for the Master in Engineering (MEng) program, he wasn’t quite settled on where he saw his future plans. This all changed on visit day when he decided to pursue his doctoral degree with adviser, ITS Berkeley Director Alexandre Bayen.
As Wu wraps up his M.Eng. and begins his doctoral research, it appears he made the right call, as he recently earned the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department Sevin Rosen Funds Award for Innovation and the M.Eng. Technical Contribution Award through the Fung Institute for his leadership and research on end-to-end pixel-based deep reinforcement learning for autonomous driving.
“I feel very fortunate to receive both of these awards, it’s very rewarding to see the department likes the direction I am heading,” says Wu. “I am really grateful to Alex and the lab for supporting me and my work.”
Wu and his M.Eng. team, Kaila Cappello, Umang Sharaf, Crystal Yan and Xiaoyun Zhao from (EECS), Lucas Fischer (IEOR), and Anna Matsokina (CEE), presented Smart Transportation: Deep reinforcement learning to optimize traffic through autonomous vehicle and traffic light control at the recent MEng Capstone Showcase May 10, 2019, under adviser Bayen.
The team narrowed their focus within the realm of autonomous vehicles to solve issues regarding traffic and safety. Using reinforcement learning techniques, they developed AI algorithms to reduce traffic congestion and increase safety by controlling traffic lights and autonomous vehicles. By developing a city-scale scenario based on the Scaled Smart City at University of Delaware, the team was able to train their network to optimize throughput that can be scaled to improve traffic flow and address safety in an urban setting.
Wu hopes to continue working on this new area of research that has potential for large applications in autonomous driving. He also would like to contribute to improving coordination of autonomous vehicles in surrounding human driven traffic.
Wu earned an M.S. and B.S. in Systems Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied under Bayen’s former student, ITS Berkeley alum Daniel Work.
The M.Eng. Technical Contribution Award is awarded for demonstrating superb leadership skills, combining research while excellent in technical and leadership coursework, demonstrating technical leadership in the field, and working across multiple teams.
The Sevin Rosen Funds Award for Innovation recognizes innovative technical achievement with potential for entrepreneurial success. This award was made possible by Sevin Rosen Funds, a venture capital firm which has consistently made early stage investments in pioneering technologies. The Sevin Rosen Funds Award for Innovation is awarded annually to graduate students based on outstanding technical achievement in computer sciences or electrical engineering research.