(Yicai Global) Dec. 31 -- Zhang Yaqin, former president of internet giant Baidu, is set to assume the chair of intelligent science at China's prestigious Tsinghua University.
The professorship will see Zhang pursue scientific research as well as teach and train talent at Tsinghua's School of Vehicle and Mobility, according to a post on the university official WeChat account today.
The 53-year-old is a world-class scientist and entrepreneur in digital video and artificial intelligence. He retired from Beijing-based Baidu in October after joining as president in September 2014. Before Baidu, he was at Microsoft for nearly 16 years. He is a director at four high-tech companies and the director of the United Nations Development Program's Private Sector Advisory Board, Tsinghua University said.
Zhang will also take the lead in building the Tsinghua University AI Research Institute in preparing for the fourth industrial revolution to make breakthroughs in automatic driving, artificial intelligence + Internet of Things, and brain-inspired intelligence and create a top worldwide innovative research and development platform.
He owns more than 60 patents in the US and has published over 500 academic papers and 11 monographs. He is the only Chinese person to serve on the board of stewardship for the future of mobility of the Davos World Economic Forum and led Baidu's Apollo automatic driving scheme and is also chairman of the Apollo Alliance, the world's largest open platform for autonomous driving.
Zhang was inducted into the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering as the only foreign fellow in 2017. He was elected as academician of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences this year as the only Chinese scientist in computer science.
He served as senior vice president and chairman of Microsoft Asia-Pacific Research and Development Group; managing director and chief scientist of Microsoft Research Asia; chairman of Microsoft China; corporate vice president for mobile and embedded products. Zhang was also director of the Multimedia Technology Laboratory at Sarnoff (integrated into SRI International) from 1994 to 1998 and a senior research fellow of the GTE Labs (now Verizon) from 1990 to 1994.
Editor: Peter Thomas