Chances are good that you are reading this online through a smart phone or tablet. Chances are even better that if there is lag in the screen refresh rate, a poor Wi-Fi connection, or your battery is low, you’ll stop reading. This is because our desire to consume information online is balanced by our demand for high quality data delivery and the battery life of our handheld devices.

Yao Liu is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at SUNY Binghamton, and a 2013 Mason CS PhD, who is immersed in these technology issues. Liu’s research focuses on uncovering power inefciencies, with an aim to reduce power consumption on mobile devices and improve the power efciency of today’s distributed systems by combining larger-scale measurements with big data analysis. Translation: faster and more reliable video streaming and data delivery using less power. Full speed ahead!

Liu credits much of her success and academic interests to Mason professor, Songqing Chen, with whom she collaborated on numerous published works including Content Adaptive Display Power Saving in Internet Mobile Streaming, A Quantitative Study of Video Duplicate Levels in YouTube, and Investigating Redundant Internet Video Streaming Trafc on iOS Devices: Causes and Solutions. Citing him as a mentor, Liu says it was Professor Chen who introduced her to and encouraged her to pursue specific research areas.

Chen for his part is impressed by Liu’s work and the passion she shows for her research saying, “Yao has done innovative work on both perspectives to help mobile devices preserve the battery power consumption while improving the streaming quality perceived. Several of her works were published in the best conferences in the field, such as ACM Multimedia.”

When asked about publishing her findings again, Liu enthusiastically says, “Yes, I’m definitely looking to publish my current research.” Which brings us to her work at Binghamton where she teaches two CS classes, conducts her own research, and advises both Masters and PhD students. She says her teaching is “mutually beneficial.” She enjoys teaching and working alongside her students. Many already have years of industry experience and she likes that they bring “new, helpful perspectives” to the table.

As a tenure-track female CS professor, Liu is also a strong role model to female STEM students. Less then 20% of CS majors are women and even fewer work in Liu’s field of computer systems research. She takes her teaching seriously and says, “I’m still learning and testing ways to advise the students,” she says with a laugh. “Advising someone how to do research is diferent from actually doing research yourself.”

This article also appears in the 2015 CS Annual Report