The Department of Computer Science welcomes Siwei Cao as an instructor for the fall semester. She previously served as an adjunct faculty at the College of Science and Technology at Temple University.

Siwei received her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering at The Ohio State University and her master's of science in physics at Miami University.

She recently indulged us by sharing 10 things about herself, ranging from the favorite things about her job to her hobbies and some of the ways she relaxes.

1. What does your research entail?

My research focuses on the determination of phase diagrams, computational thermodynamics, and kinetics via the CALPHAD (CALculation of PHAse Diagram) approach and its integration into computational materials design. It entails a lot of planning, experimenting, data collecting, and analyzing.

2. What do you hope to accomplish with your research?

I hope to speed up the traditionally slow-phase determination process and build a reliable computational approach to aid material selection in alloys.

3. Is there anything else that you're involved in?

I’m also interested in computer science education. I taught 2nd-grade Chinese-American kids at Blacksburg Chinese School on the weekends. Although I have to volunteer two hours on the weekend to serve the Chinese community, I found it rewarding and a great pleasure to be able to preserve the heritage.

4. Why did you choose Virginia Tech?

My husband is a faculty at Virginia Tech as well. Virginia Tech is a great university, especially good in engineering. In the long run, we believe Virginia Tech's great research environment, as well as its great natural environment, will help us build stronger and healthier academic and physical health.

5. What Is your favorite thing about your job?

I love to be around youthful people and creative minds. Besides the feeling of fulfillment that comes with teaching, it also helps me learn and grow. Moreover, I enjoy the luxurious flexibility outside of my scheduled classes, let alone longer summer/winter vacations compared to industrial jobs.

6. Why is your job important to you?

I was a full-time mom for years after my kids were born. My job gives me some “me time” other than the family duties that I took upon myself. I find my job fascinating and purposeful.

7. What do you do to relax?

A lot of things get me relaxed. I like singing and playing guitar, making pastries and desserts, and decorating cakes. I also love watching stand-up comedian talk shows, reading, writing poems, hiking, and crafting. Sometimes, even house cleaning can be therapeutic.

8. Do you have any hobbies that you would like to share?

All the above mentioned are my hobbies. Please check my YouTube channel and Google photo links to learn more about me.

9. How do you balance your work with your life?

I try my best to be more efficient during the day and detach from work in the evening to spend some relaxing time with my family.

10. Is there anything else that you would like to share?

I’m a spontaneous person and I enjoy anything lively.