Dr. Yang obtained B.S. in Applied Physics in 1992 with GuangHua Scholarship and M.
A. in Laser Optics in 1995, both from University of Science and Technology of China
(USTC), Anhui, P. R. China. From 1995 to 1999, Dr. Yang was a Ph.D. candidate and
Teaching Assistant at Electrical Engineering Department, Princeton University. After
his Ph.D. degree from Princeton University in 1999, Dr. Yang joined Bell Labs, Lucent
Technologies Inc., as a Member of Technical Staff for more than seven years, doing
research in photonic networks and devices. His research at Bell Labs included advanced
optical channel monitoring for OTN, monolithic active-passive integrated III-V photonic
integrated circuits, and high-speed, low jitter, multi-spatial-mode passive mode-locked
semiconductor lasers. Before joining Western in Fall 2007, he was with Lightwave Systems,
Ciena Corp., as a Principal Engineer, leading the research in fiber polarization mode
dispersion (PMD) related long-haul system issues. His current research interest focuses
on metamaterials and surface plasmonics and their applications to RF, photonic, and
optoelectronic devices. Dr. Yang has published 32 peer-reviewed journal papers and
more than 50 peer-reviewed regional, national, and international conference papers.
He also holds 9 U. S. patents awarded or pending. Dr. Yang is also an innovative
Engineering educator, incorporating different modalities of teaching including the
Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) and he is instrumental in designing
and establishing the Project Based Learning (PBL) core curricula at the School of
Engineering and Technology, Western Carolina University. He is also a First-Lego-League
(FLL) and Science Olympiad coach.
Our students benefit from a wide variety of stimulus to learn efficiently. The traditional
practice of teaching in the form of lecturing can be less effective as the whole classroom
with diversity of students, not only in their preferred ways of learning but also
in their different levels of academic capabilities. Dr. Yang’s teaching interest focuses
on how integration of different teaching modalities can contribute to the effectiveness
and efficiency of the classroom teaching. Through practice, Dr. Yang has found that
the group-activity and discussion based pedagogues, when conducted properly, can have
positive impacts to students at all levels.
Dr. Yang’s research leverages his keen sensitivity to the connections, or sometimes
disconnect, between the abstract theories and the concrete experimental observations.
A long-time laser and optical communications expert, Dr. Yang has expanded his research
interests into the fundamentals of metamaterials and surface plasmonics at Western
Carolina University. He is a frequent recipient of federal research funding both from
NSF’s Industry-University Cooperative Research Center for Metamaterials as well as
DoD’s SBIR/STTR programs. He is currently researching a fundamental aspect of surface
plasmonics that can potentially lead to new optical sensing and energy harvesting