Pan Lu, a Ph.D. student in the Computer Science department at UCLA, has been awarded the prestigious Bloomberg Data Science Ph.D. Fellowship for the academic year 2023-2024. This fellowship recognizes and supports outstanding doctoral students in their research and professional development in the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing.

As a member of the UCLA NLP Group, mentored by Professor Kai-Wei Chang, Pan Lu’s research focuses on developing machines that can reason and collaborate with humans for the common good, particularly in the domains of mathematics, science, and education. His work aims to overcome the limitations of large language models by enhancing them with compositional reasoning abilities and enabling them to integrate external tools for advanced problem-solving.

This fellowship has provided support for Pan’s research, notably his project MathVista, the first benchmark for evaluating the visual mathematical reasoning capabilities of foundation models. MathVista, accepted for oral presentation at the 2024 International Conference on Learning Representations with a 1.2% acceptance rate, has become a standard benchmark in the field. Additionally, the fellowship has facilitated his work on data-efficient fine-tuning of large vision-language models, which shows promising potential for real-world applications with financial benefits.

“I was drawn to the Bloomberg Data Science Ph.D. Fellowship for its prestige and the opportunity it provides to tackle challenging problems in data science and AI,” said Pan Lu. “The focus on real-world applications of these technologies, particularly in data-driven fields, aligns perfectly with my research ambitions.”

The Bloomberg Data Science Ph.D. Fellowship is now in its sixth round, demonstrating Bloomberg’s ongoing commitment to engaging with the academic research community. The fellowship provides financial aid, professional mentorship, and real-world experience to early-career researchers.