New Faculty Member, 2020–21
Zhe Xu’s interest in engineering was sparked by his desire to apply abstract and elegant mathematical concepts to tangible situations in the real world. That led to his career in studying autonomous control systems.
Xu’s research lies at the intersection of control theory, formal methods and machine learning as it applies to autonomous systems.
“Specifically, I am trying to explain, control and verify autonomous systems,” says Xu, “taking into account limited availability of simulated and real data, the expressivity of high-level knowledge representations and the uncertainties of the underlying model.”
Upon joining the School of Engineering for Matter, Transport and Energy in January 2021, Xu will be teaching courses in controls and robotics, in addition to conducting research in synthesizing control strategies to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 has become the most disruptive event the world has ever experienced in a century,” says Xu. “The possibilities for autonomous robots to substitute humans in risky environments and social interactions have been a research focus of mine.”
Before joining ASU, Xu also earned the Howard Kaufman ’62 Memorial Fellowship Award at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2016.