Xiaoli (Lucy) Yang, Ph.D.

Professor of Computer Engineering

Xiaoli (Lucy) Yang


Xiaoli Yang is a professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering. Her research and teaching focus on virtual/augmented reality, visualization, cybersecurity education, machine learning applications and software engineering.

Research Overview

Yang’s research focus on virtual reality, visualization, software engineering and digital education. She has published more than 70 papers in journals and refereed international conference proceedings and one book by Springer. She has funded her research through NSF, Indiana Commission of Higher Education and NSERC-Canada and internal grants from PNW.

I became an engineer because I have always been fascinated by the problem-solving and logical thinking nature of the work.

Select Publications

Z. Huang, A. Javaid, V. Devabhaktuni , Y. Li, X. Yang, “Development of Cognitive Training Program With EEG Headset” IEEE Access, Volume 7, pp. 126191 – 126200, 2019

M. Puebla-Alvarez, D. Carrillo, X. Yang, “Cognitive Training”, the 15th International Conference on Frontiers in Education: Computer Science and Computer Engineering (FECS’19), July 29 – August 1, 2019, USA

G. Aguayo, U. Morales, X. Long, Q. Niyaz, X. Yang, A. Y. Javaid, “ An Introductory Visualization Aid for Cybersecurity Education,” the 15th International Conference on Frontiers in Education: Computer Science and Computer Engineering (FECS’19), July 29 – August 1, 2019, USA

Teaching Focus

  • Software Tools for Engineers
  • Programming for Engineers
  • Software Design
  • Computer Graphics
  • Virtual Reality

Previous Roles

Yang was an assistant professor in the department of software engineering, Lakehead University, Canada from 2003 to 2005. She was a postdoctoral fellow in DISCOVER Laboratory, University of Ottawa, Canada, 2002 to 2003 before she joined Lakehead University.

Most Recent Awards

Recent External Grant:

  • 2021-2022 – NSF FW-HTF-P Awards: “Collaborative Research: FW-HTF-P: IntelEUI: Artificial Intelligence and Extended Reality to Enhance Workforce Productivity for the Energy and Utilities Industry,” Total Project Award: $149.7K, PNW: $79.9K Award (#2129092), Michigan Tech: $69.7K Award (#2129093), PNW PIs: Xiaoli Yang and Quamar Niyaz, Michigan Tech PIs: Sidike  Paheding and Samantha Smith.
  • 2020-2022– NSF IUSE:EHR Awards # 2021345: “Collaborative Research: IUSE: EHR: CyberMUG: Cybersecurity Modules aligned with UG Computer Science and Engineering Curriculum,” Total Project Award: $300K, PNW: $159.4K Award (#2021345 Link), U of Toledo: $140.5K Award (#2021264 Link), PNW PIs: Quamar Niyaz, Sidike Paheding, and Xiaoli Yang, UToledo PI: Ahmad Javaid.
  • 2019-2022 – NSF SaTC (Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace) EDU Award #1903423: “SaTC: EDU: Collaborative: INteractive VIsualization and PracTice basEd Cybersecurity Curriculum and Training (InviteCyber) Framework for Developing Next-gen Cyber-Aware Workforce,” Total Project Award: $499K, PNW: $231.4K Award (#1903423 Link), U of Toledo: $267.7K award (#1903419  Link). PNW PIs: Xiaoli Yang and Quamar Niyaz. UToledo PI: Ahmad Javaid, (Highlights)

Recent Internal Grant 

  • 2021 – PNW Catalyst Grant, “Emotion Recognition and Regulation using Machine Learning and Virtual Reality for Improving Education, “ PIs: Xiaoli Yang, Quamar Niyaz
  • 2020 – PNW Catalyst Grant, “A Transfer-Learning based Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Network Architecture for Edge Learning,” PIs: Quamar Niyaz, Xiaoli Yang
  • 2020 – PNW CES-Budget Advisory Committee Award, “A Cloud-Based Service for Security Awareness, Malware Detection and Digital Forensics for Smartphone Apps”
  • 2020 – PNW Catalyst Grant, “ECare: Visualization Based Education and Knowledge Transfer for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease on Multiple Platforms for Health Care Improvement,” PIs: Julia Rogers, Xiaoli Yang, Vijaya Kumar Devabhaktuni.
  • 2019 – PNW Interdisciplinary Grant, “Interactive Visualization Tutorial for Pathophysiology Education in Nursing,” PIs: Julia Rogers, Manisa Baker, Xiaoli Yang.
  • 2019 – PNW Catalyst Grant,  “Emotion Regulation in Depression Using Virtual Reality and Neuro-feedback,” PIs: Xiaoli Yang, Colin Elkin, Sidike Paheding.
  • 2018 – PNW Proposal Submission Grant, “Development of Cybersecurity Modules align with Undergraduate Computer Engineering Curriculum,” PIs: Quamar Niyaz and Xiaoli Yang.
Xiaoli (Lucy) Yang


(219) 989-2763


Office Location:

Hammond Campus, POTT 331


  • Ph.D. – Electrical Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology
  • M.S. – Applied Science in Systems and Computer Engineering, Carleton University
  • M.S. – Mining Engineering, Taiyuan University of Technology
  • B.S. – Electronic Information Engineering, Taiyuan University of Technology

Areas of Expertise

  • Virtual/Augmented Reality
  • Visualization
  • Simulation and Modeling
  • Cybersecurity Education
  • Machine Learning Applications
  • Software Engineering