Since he was a young university student, Dr Ha Vu Le has dreamed of making a computer do what human brains can do. He visited UTS under the Faculty KTP (Engineering and IT) Visiting Fellow program to research brain computer interface applications for brain disorders.
Le came to UTS in February as a Visiting Fellow from VNU University of Engineering and Technology, Vietnam. His research expertise spans image processing and computer vision, biomedical signal processing, brain-computer interface, multimedia information retrieval, and robotics. Le was hosted by Dr Quang Ha from the School of Electrical and Data Engineering as a Visiting Fellow under the Faculty KTP (Engineering and IT) scheme.
Their objective is to develop tools to aid neuroscientists and doctors in brain disorder research, as well as build computerised systems for brain disorder diagnosis, management, and treatment. Such systems may help ease the workload for healthcare practitioners, and provide patients with brain disorders greater accessibility to preventive and rehabilitative care.
Inspired by the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence in Vietnam, Dr Ha Vu Le chose to pursue data science via a major in computer science as an undergraduate.
When Le began working in computer vision 20 years ago, it was common to think of its algorithms as inspired by models of human vision. Computer vision researchers such as himself followed progress in neuroscience with a certain frustration at the limits of understanding about how the brain processes visual information.
Machine learning has revolutionised computer vision, making it one of the most widely applicable areas of artificial intelligence.
Now that machine learning can match the performance of a human brain, neuroscientists are using it to explore how the brain works.
Data scientists such as Dr Le can facilitate deeper comprehension of the brains workings by developing machine learning models of cognitive tasks from observed data of task-related brain activities.
He found that the most valuable aspect of working at UTS was the university’s strength in industry engagement, helping VNU-UET refocus its research efforts on industry-driven technology development. Conversely, through this partnership UTS can reach out to businesses in Vietnam and respond to their demands efficiently.
It’s important to have face-to-face meetings when starting collaborative relationships with researchers.
Such introductions and conversations allowed him to add a personal tone to subsequent conversations, rather than keeping them strictly neutral and professional.
Work aside, Le enjoyed everything Sydney has to offer outside the university. “I was amazed by the multicultural character of Sydney, and of UTS as well. And by that I also mean I really love Sydney's street foods.”
He sees the potential for his work with Dr Ha, and the associated streams of collaboration with researchers in the Faculty of Engineering and IT, to contribute significantly to the development of science and technology in both Australia and Vietnam.