Institute of High Performance Computing


People: Vibrant & Dynamic Culture


Dr. YANG Yinping
Computing Science (CS)


Dr. Yang Yinping has been with IHPC since 2007, working in the Computing Science Department. She found a window in her busy schedule to chat about her work in social-technical systems and research experience.

Q: What are your research interests?

In the broad sense, my research interest is in social-technical systems. This covers a spectrum of technologies that are aim at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of business and social processes. My core area of expertise is on e-negotiations, particularly on computational technologies that can support and/or automate negotiation of business contracts. I have also studied other topics such as social networking services, cloud computing, and technology adoption.

Q: How did you end up in this field?

My first research exposure started from my honours-year thesis back in 2002. Among a variety of topics posted by the professors, what caught my attention was the use of videoconferencing and decision-support tools to conduct international trade negotiations. Upon the completion of this project, the SARS outbreak occurred and was followed by an economic downturn in 2003. The infeasibility of extensive business travels for executives to meet face-to-face highlighted the value of e-negotiations: the use of technologies to effectively support business contract establishment, without the need for face-to-face encounters. Motivated by the technology and the potential real-world value, and a deep interest in how technologies can transform business processes, I decided to pursue a PhD to continue this line of research. My PhD thesis covers the examination of a number of technologies, including videoconferencing, multilingual support, decision support, and intelligent agent based automation, that can enhance negotiation processes and outcomes. Besides technologies, because negotiation is a multi-faceted social and business process, I have also read broadly on social sciences literature including social psychology, economics, conflict resolution, communication, management science, organization behaviour, labour law- to under this specific complex business process with greater substance. My multi-disciplinary exposure to cross social sciences and computer science has equipped me with a unique and useful skillset to kickstart my career in IHPC.

Q: What is the Strategic Social Systems programme all about?

A: The Strategic Social Systems Programme is a research programme initiative in the Computing Science Department of IHPC formally established in
October 2012. We focus on translational research and computational social sciences R&D. The programme aims to transform big social and behavioural data into actionable insights that enhance human-centric sustainable public, social, business, and urban success. To achieve this vision, we are dedicated in applying our know-how of social and behavioural sciences, advanced data analysis and computational technologies to address business and management needs in the big data era. The programme currently has three key project initiatives: SPICE (Strategic Public Information Communication Enhancement Systems), which is our ‘flagship’ project, SMILE (Social Marketing Intelligence Enhancement) and SHINE (Social Health Intelligence Enhancement). Each project initiative focuses on a target domain industry and partner.

Q: How do you juggle your R&D projects, your other commitments and being a working mother?

Frankly speaking, it was not easy, or actually, it was way too challenging during the first few months when I became a new mother. Besides the well-known lack-of-sleep, lack-of-experience, and other physical changes after giving birth, another big accident also happened in my life during that period, as my father needed to have a major operation. For nearly two months, I spent half my time in hospitals. It was also the biggest transition in my career, as I started thinking about how I can transform my research findings and social-technical systems knowledge to create more value for the industry and consumers. After been through this tough period of life, I now deeply believe being a mother makes me a more mature and stronger career woman. My parents and parent-in-laws gave me the utmost support to take care of my son, so I can fully focus on my work. My husband greatly encouraged me to pursue my career achievements. He assured me that my value to my family and society goes far beyond just doing house work! (laughs)

Q: What do you enjoy most about working in IHPC?

A: I definitely enjoy the friendly setting in which inter-disciplinary dialogue and intellectual exchange between researchers from different departments are facilitated naturally. It’s a very collegial environment here. And the visionary leadership and strong support from the management makes it possible for us to do well in our research projects.

This page is last updated at: 02-MAY-2014