Lu named a Harvard College Professor

Lu chosen for his commitment to undergraduate teaching

By Nikki Rojas, Harvard Staff Writer

Yue M. Lu, the Gordon McKay Professor of Electrical Engineering and of Applied Mathematics (Photo courtesy of Eliza Grinnell/Harvard SEAS)

Yue M. Lu, the Gordon McKay Professor of Electrical Engineering and of Applied Mathematics at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), has been named a Harvard College Professor for his commitment to undergraduate teaching.

Lu is among five Harvard faculty chosen for the professorship, which was launched in 1997 with a gift from John and Frances Loeb. Professors hold the title for five years and receive support for a research fund, summer salary, or semester of paid leave. 

“I am delighted to recognize these five colleagues for their contributions to undergraduate teaching, their work in graduate education and research, and their mentorship and support of students,” said Hopi Hoekstra, the Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “With creativity, passion, and an engaging approach, they each invite our students to join a world of knowledge and to discover the particular joy of academic inquiry. I am enormously grateful to these colleagues for their extraordinary commitment to our students and our teaching mission.”

Lu favors a dynamic approach to teaching. “I constantly remind my students that mathematics is not a spectator sport,” he said. “True understanding requires active engagement, and tackling mathematical problems can also be incredibly enjoyable.”

Lu studies randomness and patterns in high-dimensional systems in fields such as signal processing, information theory, and machine learning. He uses mathematical tools to understand the collective behavior of large systems that involve many interactive and random components, he said.

“My favorite part of lecturing is encouraging students to ask questions and challenge my solutions,” the SEAS professor said. “By going through my students’ unique perspectives, I often discover innovative solutions that I hadn’t previously considered.”

Lu cherishes the connections he maintains with many students even after they leave his classroom.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of my career is encountering alumni who share memorable experiences from their time in my courses,” he said. “While it’s not essential for them to still remember every specific formula, I’m deeply gratified when they tell me that my introduction to probability course has deepened their appreciation and understanding of the nature of uncertainty.”

Scientist Profiles

Yue Lu

Gordon McKay Professor of Electrical Engineering and of Applied Mathematics