I’m Shaojie (Jerry) Bai. A few facts about me:

  • I use Windows and OS X for desktop OS, iOS for mobile.
  • I contribute to Wikipedia sometimes.
  • I am an aficionado in history, politics and physics as well. Try to know a bit of everything!
  • I come from Shenzhen, China (very close to Hong Kong).
  • I am a fan of Game of Thrones. Favorite character: Varys
  • I was on the Doodle Jump global high-score ranking three times.
  • 2006 TIMES magazine “Person of the Year”. It’s true. No kidding.

Shoot me an email if you want to chat more!



A copy of my CV here.

If you wish to know more about me, don’t hesitate to reach out.


While I am very interested in the subject of machine learning as a whole, my research preference is particularly with statistical modeling of machine learning methods (with, for example, optimization methods). Deep learning solutions especially— I believe by taking statistical approaches we can further optimize the DL architecture and network properties (ELU, batchnorm, etc. have already proved this point). With data sets such as ImageNet now available, how we improve our current way of using NN becomes more important than ever. But more importantly, given the development in parallel computation with GPUs, we now have a new opportunity to review many old-school ML algorithms— which might not be a viable options previously but is feasible now.

I worked on my undergraduate senior thesis with Professor Zico Kolter at CMU. The primary goal of our research is to investigate on how the ReLU input distribution correlates to the performance of ReLU-based deep neural networks. More specifically, techniques such as batch-normalization have been proved (empirically) to be super-helpful— and we want to know why. For more information, you can look at my blogs on the senior thesis, and the research page.


The advanced math/CS courses I’ve taken at CMU:

Course number Course name Semester Instructor(s) Grade
15-418 Parallel Computer Architecture and Programming S17 Kayvon Fatahalian, Randy Bryant A
21-301 Combinatorics S17 John Mackey A
10-701 Machine Learning for PhD F16 Eric Xing, Matt Gormley A
10-725 Convex Optimization (PhD) F16 Ryan Tibshirani, Javier Pena A
21-341 Linear Algebra F16 Joseph Zielinski A
15-451 Algorithm Design and Analysis F15 Avrim Blum, Anupam Gupta A
15-440 Distributed Systems F15 Srinivassan Seshan, Yuvraj Agarwal A
15-312 Principles of Programming Languages S16 Robert Harper A
15-214 Principles of Software Construction S16 Charlie Garrod, Joshua Bloch A
21-356 Principles of Real Analysis II S16 Marco Carrocia A
21-355 Principles of Real Analysis I F15 Marco Carrocia A
21-325 Probability F14 Ago Pisztora A


Teaching Assistantship

I’ve TA’ed the following courses at CMU School of Computer Science (SCS) so far:

Course number Course name Semester Instructor(s) Note
15-440/640 Distributed Systems S17 Mahadev Satyanarayanan, Padamanabhan Pillai Head TA
10-601 Machine Learning for Graduates F16 Roni Rosenfeld  
15-440/640 Distributed Systems S16 Mahadev Satyanarayanan, Padamanabhan Pillai  

Less-serious Life

All right. Done for the serious stuff and advertising.

I care about a lot of things in real life. Besides what I study (which I really love!), movies, history and politics are what I’m mostly into.

A few books that I’ve read in the past two years which particularly I recommend:

  • A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini. A heartbreaking & amazing book on Afghanistan in turmoil.
  • Journey Under the Midnight Sun, by Keigo Higashino. “When you wander in the dark too long, you start to see things that aren’t really there.”
  • Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning*, by Christopher M. Bishop. Almost everyone in ML knows about this. But for someone good at Math/CS and want to know more about ML theories, this is a great book!
  • The Master Algorithm, by Pedro Domingos. A cool summary of what AI and ML means in different perspectives, for everyone— not just computer scientists. A great vision on an ultimate learning method that will infiltrate every aspect of our lives.
  • From the Ashes of Sobibor, by Thomas Blatt. An amazing story of the Nazi days with vivid descriptions.
  • The Three-Body Problem and its two follow-ups, The Dark Forest and Death’s End, by Cixin Liu. A really cool science fiction leading us to thoughts that we have never thought about before. Also reveals some very important philosophical questions about civilizations. I highly recommend this - personally, I finished the trilogy in 4 days because it was so great.
  • Nikita Khrushchev biography. Great recap of his life stories if you are interested in Soviet histories.
  • Hiroshima: The Autobiography of Barefoot Gen by Nakazawa Keiji. Before and after the atomic bomb was dropped in Japan in 1945. Personal stories, very moving.

And when it comes to movies - well there are lots of things to say. In general, I watch movies of all categories except for horror ones— no offense to the horror movie aficionados, but to me they are more troubling than exciting. I especially like sci-fi movies, or those that induces hard thinking, such as Inception and Interstellar. Here is a non-exhaustive list of pretty good ones:

  • 1900, starred by Tim Roth
  • Pulp Fiction*, starred by Tim Roth, Samuel L. Jackson (and a lot more great stars)
  • Witness for the Prosecution*, starred by Tyrone Power and Charles Laughton
  • La La Land, starred by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone
  • Sully, starred by Tom Hanks
  • Snowden, starred by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley
  • Inception, starred by Leonardo Dicaprio
  • Interstellar, starred by Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway
  • V for Vendetta, starred by Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman
  • Lord of the Rings + The Hobbits, starred by so many great people
  • The Martian, starred by Matt Damon
  • The Iron Lady, starred by Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent
  • The Truman Show, starred by Jim Carrey (god… love this)
  • Her, starred by Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams (this one is about operating systems!)
  • Ex Machina, starred by Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson (this one is about AI!)
  • The King’s Speech, starred by Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush
  • Harry Potter series, no need to introduce
  • [Updating…]

Finally, I play sports!! Badminton, ping-pong, basketball, racquetball, swimming and bicycle are my favorite. Would love to try new areas I’ve never explored before! Used to be a fan of AC Milan…