CS Spotlight Series and WELCOME to Dr. Xueyuan (Michael) Vanbastelaer!

We are so excited to welcome our newest WFU Department of Computer Science Assistant Professor, Dr. Michael Vanbastelaer!  Joining our family officially on July 1st, 2022, Dr. Vanbastelaer will be teaching two CSC111’s this fall!  We are so very happy to add him to our family and I think you’ll see his personality shining through below.  So without further ado let’s meet Dr. Michael Vanbastelaer:

Dr. Vanbastelaer, tell us a bit about yourself.  Where you were born and where have you lived?

I was born in Shanghai and have lived in Los Angeles, CA and Cambridge, MA, before moving to Winston Salem this summer.

What are a few of your favorite activities?

I love going to the gym and lifting weights, doing Spelling Bee on NY Times, learning new languages (right now I am learning German, but I hope I will get to French soon!) but really learning any interesting things I do not yet know. I love talking to people and learning about their lives (an adult tea time is always fun! — and speaking of teas, I love drinking boba ). Oh did I mention I love organizing and cleaning things too?

What are some of your favorite TV shows, movies and/or books?

I don’t have all-time favorite TV shows — I just get obsessed with a show for a short period of time and move on when the next big thing comes! Currently, my favorite TV show is Schitt’s Creek. I don’t have favorite movies either, but my favorite genres are horror (like The Conjuring), action movies (like Mission Impossible), and romance (like Call Me By Your Name).  Books – right now, I love Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, and I am reading (and loving) Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid.

What is something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t yet? Maybe a bucket list item?

So many things! Right now, I want to see Northern Lights while sipping hot coco!

What is the most important life lesson you have learned to this point?

Cherish people around you, make time for them, and show your love language to let them know that you care. This is a work-life balance lesson I learned when I let work bury me in the past. Hopefully never again but it’s hard to practice what I preach sometimes.

Why a Computer Science Professor?  What interested you about it that you knew it needed to be your career?

I love to talk to people and I love the little sparks I see in students’ eyes when I explain things and they understand! Why CS? Because it’s an art and a science and I like them both.

Best things about WFU?

I am too new to say one best thing about WFU!  Right now, I love how lovely and supportive everyone is and how beautiful the campus is! I am looking forward to meeting students and faculty members in other departments!