Yi-Chun Chang, DAC master’s student in the Department of Computer Science

Graphic is from the paper, “RIDE-SECURE: Metro Security Incidents And Threat Detection Using Social Media”

Yi-Chun Chang, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business information management from National Taiwan University, was drawn to pursue a master’s degree in computer science at Virginia Tech by its reputation for quality research and the prospect of working Chang-Tien Lu, now his advisor.

“Being a student at the Discovery Analytics Center is amazing,” said Chang. “We have plenty of resources and so many great opportunities to collaborate.”

Chang’s current project with Lu is a collaboration  with a Maryland firm funded by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The team is developing an advanced spatiotemporal event detection system of several layers to deal with data preprocessing, information extraction, threat level analysis, and visualization and extract security-related information from social media contents that can help metro police improve security on trains and at metro stations.

A collaborative paper relative to the WMATA project, “RIDE-SECURE: Metro Security Incidents And Threat Detection Using Social Media,” has been submitted to a December conference for review.

Chang’s interest in using social media analytics for detecting threats began as an undergraduate, inspired by some of the projects he worked on and participating in hackathons.

This past summer, Chang was a full-stack software engineer intern at Walmart Global Tech where his responsibilities included redesigning and implementing responsive enterprise web applications and role-based solutions of feature toggle using React.js, Node.js, GraphDB, and Azure; and establishing coding standards across the team with ESLint, customized error code, and API versioning, achieved the team goal of 90 percent for API Test Coverage.

Projected to graduate in May 2021, Chang said his ultimate goal “is to become an industrially-driven professional who develops products that fulfill the need for reliable and secure software applications or systems.”