Baijian Yang, associate professor of computer and information technology, received his PhD from Michigan State University with a focus on networking and distributed computing. Before coming to Purdue, he was the computer technology program coordinator for the Department of Technology at Ball State University.
According to Yang, one of the factors that differentiates the Purdue Department of Computer and Information Technology from other computing and IT programs around the nation is its level of intensity.
“There is no other program that is as intense as this one,” Yang says. “The curriculum is very rigorous, but we’re building up our student’s tenacity to lead. We’re preparing them for CTO and CIO positions, not just technician jobs.”
Another advantage that Purdue CIT has is the dedicated faculty and staff. The department has not only researchers and educators doing world-class work, Yang says, but also amazing advisors to guide students through their entire academic journey from start to finish.
In his classes, Yang challenges students to look beyond the technical solutions in order to fundamentally understand the underlying problem.
“Critical thinking really benefits students in higher education. In CIT, we’re teaching students how to approach problems,” he says. These problems aren’t just from textbooks, either. The problems students receive in class are challenges the industry currently faces.
In order for CIT students to be successful in their careers, both academic and professional, Yang says, they need to have a passion for information technology and the motivation to overcome any sort of challenge. He also emphasizes that prospective students do what they can to get exposure to information technology early on, like taking Cisco academy courses offered in high school.
Yang’s research focuses on security data visual analytics; key management in “bring your own device” (BYOD) environments, as well as extracting forensic evidence from GPUs. His primary areas of interest are information security, computer networks, distributed computing, and health IT. He also served as the president of EECT division of the Association of Technology Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) from 2010 to 2012.