I was born in JinHua (near ShangHai), China, on December 25, some years ago. As a child, I did not know what Christmas was. (Who cared about those foreigners anyway, they were all Paper Tigers). I always complained to my mother: "Why didn't you hold me for one day longer so I would have the same birthday as Chairman Mao!"
Following Chairman Mao's call, I went to the countryside to receive "re-education" from the Poor and Lower Middle Peasants after high school. I grew rice, tea, and peanuts and learned how to use Water buffalo in the fields and how to ride them home after a long and hard working day. Life was hard then, especially when we were told we would be there forever. I remember on a cold winter evening, I found a dusty old high school textbook in my only suitcase and started to fiddle with it. A friend came by and said: "well, it may be useful for you someday, but not for us." After that, I was motionless and started staring into the darkness outside my window......
Well, I have no complaints about those days --- they taught me well what life is about. After Chairman Mao died, the universities were reopened for public entrance examinations and I went to Beijing to attend the universities there. I did well all the way through and was honored to be selected to study abroad after graduation. In Beijing, I met two important people in my life: my wife Sai-Ying and my advisor Herbert A. Simon.
The rest of the story is ordinary by American standards. I learned how to speak English and how to drive (my first car was a Dodge Dart for $275). I flew a Cessna (never got my pilot's license though) and owned a sailboat. In the summer of 1996, I started enjoying driving a Mercedes-Benz 300E. Despite all these, I don't think I have changed much, I always followed the meaning of "Wei Min" (i.e., "To serve the people" in English), a principle given to me by my parents since I was born.
Dr. Wei-Min Shen received his Ph.D. from the Computer Science Department at Carnegie-Mellon University in 1989 on the subject of Autonomous Learning and Discovery under Nobel Laureate Professor Herbert A. Simon. He received his B.S. in 1982 with a Outstanding Graduate Honor in Electronics and Computer Engineering from the Jiao-Tong University, Beijing, China, (where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years). In 1983, he entered the Chinese Academy of Sciences/Automation Institute as the first-place student in a nation-wide entrance examination. From 1989 to 1994, he served as a Senior Member of the Technical Staff at Microelectronic and Computer Technology Corporation MCC , where he worked on the CYC and Carnot projects, and later led projects on Machine Learning and Data Mining (KnowledgeMiner).
Dr. Shen's current research interests include Self-Reconfigurable Robots, Autonomous Learning Agents, Multi-agent Systems, Data Mining, and Philosophy of Sciences. He is the author of the book Autonomous Learning from the Environment (Computer Science Press, 1994) and more than 75 technical papers in journals and conferences. He has hold three pending patents with his colleagues in Robotics and Complex Systems. He has served on various program committees for conferences and workshops (such as AAAI, Autonomous Agents, IAS, KDD, PKDD, ICRA), editorial boards and reviewers for journals (such as Intelligent Data Analysis, AIJ, Autonomous Robots, JAIR, IEEE Trans. on DKE, Machine Learning, Decision Support Systems, and Distributed and Parallel Databases), editors for books (Handbook of KDD by Cambridge, and Learning Action Models from AAAI), review panels for NSF, and the executive board for the International Robot Soccer Federation. He is currently a Principle Investigator for DARPA, AFOSR and NSF in the areas of Self-Reconfigurable Robots, Digital Hormones, Autonomous Learning Agents, and Data Mining. Dr. Shen is the recipient of a 1996 AAAI Robotics Competition Silver-Medal Award, a 1997 RoboCup World Championship Award, a 1997 Meritorious Service Award at USC/ISI, and a Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award at USC in 2003. His work has been reported by many news media, including CNN, PBS, Discovery, LA Times, SCIENCES, BYTE, Chinese World Journal, Christian Science Monitor, InformationWeek, and New Scientists.