By Chris Campbell
The highly-renowned Chinese philosopher Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Huabo Lu, assistant professor of computer science, is living by those words vicariously.
As a newly hired professor, Lu has been handed the challenging but fulfilling task of increasing the overall knowledge and awareness of all information technology-based courses offered on campus.
“I believe teaching is the best way to learn,” said Lu. “My job involves teaching a wide range of CS classes, which reinforces my understanding on this discipline.”
Lu’s journey to the United States began roughly 32 years ago as a child. He was born in central China in 1985 in the midst of a cultural and political revolution that eventually developed his home nation into an economic superpower.
“A good portion of my childhood was spent on studying, reading pop books, playing computer games and soccer,” said Lu.
It was the quintessential childhood that only served to provoke Lu’s curiosity of the Western world as time went on. As Lu reached high school, he became a disciplined student, regularly excelling in the majority of his studies, albeit at a price.
“The study load for my high school was too high,” said Lu. “There were no official achievements, but personally I recognize two – collaboratively and defensively bullying a bully and setting up my future direction in computer science.”
No journey is ever complete without moments of adversity, but Lu remained optimistic with his personal nature. Computer science provided a positive outlet for Lu to escape the pressure of Chinese education and the variety of rigors it places on all of its 200 million middle and high school students.
“I started to briefly learn programming when I was in middle school, using a programming language called Quick Basic. I forgot my feelings about it though, either thinking it was cool or it was dull,” said Lu.
By the time Lu turned 18, college was quickly approaching, and so was the thought of a promising future.
His marks weren’t impressive enough to intrigue the administration at his preferred university, but perhaps it was for a better reason altogether.
“I attended Beijing Forestry University for college. The reason I attended that one was because it served as a backup university for whom weakly rejected me in Tsinghua University, a world-wide top one,” said Lu. “College was full of fun and challenges. I wish to have studied more subjects outside CS and know more students outside my major.”
By 2008, Lu earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering in computer science and technology in China’s capital city.
He planned to ultimately pursue a career in America that made living and learning more feasible.
“I received my master of science in computer networks from Wichita State University in 2011,” said Lu. “Living here feels mature and balanced for my sake.”
One of Lu’s more obvious perks of living in the United States was the opportunity to practice his English speaking skills. “In my middle school and high school, I studied English for test, rather than any practical purpose. My English level got boosted after landing in the U.S. in 2008,” said Lu.
That has served to improve his skills in all computer science-based platforms to an even further extent.
“CS education brings problem solving and problem analysis skills, which I deem as one of the most useful skills for any successful career. Besides, computer science is pushily preparing us to embrace the changing world,” said Lu. “In my humble opinion, coding should be ranked as the second most important skill. The first one is natural languages, for communication.”
Lu’s presence is appreciated among other Southwestern faculty members. “Huabo is a great colleague of mine,” said Jason Knowles, visiting instructor of communication, digital arts, and new media. “His insight into improving these programs is very valuable.”
Lu is now living the life he has always pursued, one of great meaning and purpose. He married directly after earning his master’s at WSU.
Huabo and his wife, Rong Li, have two daughters, Liv and Emma, and they reside in Wichita. “I love the communication within a family. To me, communication is as important as light and oxygen,” said Lu.
There also appears to be determination to make a difference as a newly established member of the Moundbuilder family. “I consider myself a guy who is serious about learning and applying,” said Lu. “It is inspiring to see students working hard and gain a lot from their efforts in the classroom.”
Chris Campbell is a junior majoring in communication. You may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This was originally published in Volume 130’s 3rd edition of The Collegian. To see past Collegian archives click the following link: http://scupdate.org/collegian-archives/