New Faculty Member, 2021-22
Assistant Professor, Computer systems engineering
Kookjin Lee is fascinated by scientific machine learning, or SciML — an area that blends traditional scientific computing techniques and numerical analysis with data-driven modeling and learning paradigms. The results can solve unique problems in science and engineering.
“SciML addresses challenges that are different from traditional computer science and data science applications,” Lee says. “For example, data handled in natural science may be scarce, very noisy and irregularly sampled. Also, the data could have multi-scale characteristics. Overcoming these kinds of challenges is very rewarding, and that keeps me motivated.”
Lee joins Arizona State University after postdoctoral research in the extreme-scale data science and analytics department at Sandia National Laboratories in California. His work there focused on deep-learning techniques for numerical simulations of complex physical processes. Recognition of his efforts in the field included co-authoring one of the most cited papers of 2020 in the Journal of Computational Physics.
Lee says he is eager to bring his expertise to the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and contribute to the strong research in artificial intelligence that he has been following here for a long time.
“Also, my wife is a faculty member at the W.P. Carey School of Business,” he says, “so ASU really could not be a better choice for me.”
Lee adds that he looks forward to connecting with students who are passionate about learning together and growing together as researchers. And that connection begins this fall when he will teach CSE 475: Foundations of Machine Learning.
“Our discussions will be heavily mathematics-oriented, so strong backgrounds in calculus, linear algebra and probability would definitely help,” he says. “However, the rewards will be great for anyone who demonstrates the will to study.”
Outside of his research and teaching, Lee says he is passionate about cycling. He also enjoys hiking, and he has recently taken up playing the piano. Most of all, he enjoys playing with his 2-year-old son.