Dr. Yong X. Tao About The Dean

Yong Tao, Ph.D., P.E., FASME

Although creativity and design are often associated with the arts, Dr. Yong Tao, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing, said engineering and computing students are out-of-the-box thinkers who want to build things from concepts and ideas.

“I encourage students - if they like to create something that has never existed, that’s what engineering and computing is about. As the iPhone was developed, it wasn’t found in nature, it was created. Other science professions are discovering, we are creating.”

Dr. Tao wants the college to attract bright, inventive students who see technology as a way to improve lives.

“We want to be innovating. We want to be a college that serves students, community, and attracts talent. Industries are eager to look for education that can keep the pace of technology and innovation. That’s every educator’s dream, to minimize the gap between the structured education and the rapid ever-changing technology,” he said. “By the time we teach something to the students, fundamentals, they’re ready to face the real world. They can adapt fast, but also be aware of their impact in society, humanity, and environment.”

According to Dr. Tao, the college’s professors make a huge difference in closing the gap as they stay ahead of industry trends.

“Our faculty members are very experienced in that many of them have worked in the industry,” he said. “Our curriculum has a basic structure but it has a lot of flexibility. It allows our faculty to teach, especially in the competition areas – artificial intelligence, robotics, sensors. The faculty attend conferences so they can implement the new findings in their next courses. We have been doing that for years.”

“I always ask students what they’re passionate about and I tell them to just do it! Stick with it and stay positive. Work more efficiently to get things done. It takes persistence. Later, all you remember are the accomplishments.”

Leadership, analytical and critical thinking skills, as well as dedicated hard work are also important components of engineering and computing. Dr. Tao, who grew up in China, learned at an early age that hard work and an optimistic outlook can help one achieve greatness. His attitude is infectious.

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