People of SU / Science / Technology and Health

The Joy of Learning

Written by Marketing Communications

March 15, 2022

Indoor portrait of Wan Bae standing. Graphic reads Celebrating Women's History Month. Text below reads Wan Bae, PhD, College of Science & Engineering.

Image credit: Yosef Kalinko Graphics: Marissa Leitch

Seattle University continues its female faculty series in honor of Women's History Month with Dr. Wan Bae.

Wan Bae, PhD, is educating the next generation of industry leaders.

“I am a professor because the goal of this profession is to help students realize their fullest intellectual potential, to train them to become successful professionals and stay engaged in lifelong learning,” says Dr. Bae, “and to provide guidance to develop skills to become leaders who work not only for themselves but also for the nation, its people and further, for all mankind.”

At Seattle University, Dr. Bae, an associate professor of Computer Science who started here in fall 2019, teaches mid- and advanced-level undergraduate courses as well as in the Master of Science in Computer Science program.

“Teaching courses … brings a great joy to me. For the next generation of computer science, I prepare my students with a mastery of the most sophisticated mathematical, computational and modeling methodologies and the algorithms of modern artificial intelligence,” she explains. “At the same time, I try to have students think about ethical questions and concerns surrounding machine learning and AI and train students how to best implement advanced technologies.”

Bae says she is “extremely grateful that I have a chance to work with young, passionate computer scientists who work through the challenging problems with curiosity, patience and hard work.”

In the classroom, Bae provides students a balance of theoretical concepts, problem solving and other soft skills.

“I show students the connection between theoretical concepts and their applications and have them feel the joy in learning computer science by applying the theory to solving real-world problems,” says Bae. “My active research also helps me to continue bringing that excitement into the classroom. In many ways, my own excitement of discovery in computing problems carries over to my students.”

As a researcher, Bae’s expertise is in areas including spatial and spatiotemporal databases, spatiotemporal data mining, computational geometry and geographic information systems (GIS). Bae explains one of her current research projects that uses the notion of “exposome” to transform health care with a focus on patient-centered care management: “The goal of this research is to develop computational models and algorithms that predict individual-level environmental health risks. This will help to transform the way health and wellness are assessed and managed. … On the individual level, this will reduce patients’ financial burden and play a key role in self-management of health care and thus contribute to the quality of life and wellness improvements. On the societal level, the research findings will improve effectiveness of disease management and treatment.”

To view the introduction of the Women's History Month faculty series featuring Dr. Colette Taylor, visit: