Welcome to my personal website!
My name is Heng (Hank) Yang, and I am currently a PhD candidate at MIT Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS) and Department of Mechanical Engineering (MechE). I am excited to be working with Prof. Luca Carlone in the the SPARK (Sensing, Perception, Autonomy, and Robot Kinetics) Lab on foundamental robotic perception, computer vision and optimization and learning algorithms.
I am broadly interested in robotics, computer vision, and optimization and learning. In particular, my research focuses on applying rigorous (mathematical and optimization) theory to develop certifiable and provably correct perception algorithms for safety-critical applications and human-level understanding of the real world. Moving forward, I want to get more engaged in learning-based perception and apply my experience in geometric vision, robust estimation and optimization to improve the efficiency, robustness, interpretability, and theoretical guarantees of machine learning and artificial intelligence in general.
Recent projects include developing extremely robust geometric perception algorithms, using tight Semidefinite Programming (SDP) and Sums-of-Squares (SOS) Relaxations for problems such as the Wahba problem (aka rotation search), the point cloud registration problem, the two-view geometry problem and shape reconstruction from single image. Our algorithms can certifiably recover the globally optimal solution, in some cases even when over 95% of the measurements are outliers.
Before joining the SPARK Lab, I worked with Dr. Brian Anthony in the Device Realization Lab on designing a low-cost and portable ultrasound shear wave elastography device using external mechanical vibration (see Patents page), which is promising for bringing the currently limited and expensive advanced ultrasound elastography technique to the everyday life of patients.
Prior to MIT, I studied at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. I was interested in using mathematical model to explain interesting phenomena in nature: how different animals drink and how they fly, and apply learnings from nature to engineering designs. Check out the Publications page for more detailed information.
Besides research, I enjoy running, working out, movies, music, hiking and travelling to balance my life from PHD (Permanent Head Damage) :p.