Getting to know Ying Wang

3 min read

June 13, 2018

Our team at Petuum is made up of incredibly talented people. This series features the engineers, managers, and creators that keep our company moving forward and make us proud of the work we do together.


Ying Wang is Senior Vice President of Product and Product Marketing at Petuum. Previously, she was Director of Product Management at Google, where, most recently, she was responsible for safeguarding Google’s advertising products from unacceptable ad content and fraudulent traffic.

Prior to working on the advertising products, Ying worked in a number of product and product marketing areas within Google. Ying also worked at eBay, PayPal, and, where she gained experience in launching and growing online businesses from inception, marketing new products, business turnaround, and team building.

Why did you join Petuum?

There are several reasons—most importantly, I believe in Petuum’s mission and want to be a part of it. I’ve spent the past five years developing large-scale machine learning (ML) based systems to safeguard Google’s advertising products. At Google’s scale, it would be practically impossible to guard against fraudulent traffic or unacceptable ad content without AI/ML capabilities and they have the resources to actually build such systems. This is not the case with a significant number of other companies, which is why I’m excited about Petuum’s mission to provide a platform to enable a wide range of industries to develop practical AI solutions that improve productivity and efficiency.

Petuum wants to empower AI users to become their own AI providers and I want to be a part of the team that does that. The company is also at a stage where I can have an impact on some incredible products in a significant way.

What do you do at Petuum?

I’m overseeing three areas having to do with Petuum’s products: Product Management, Product Marketing, and Design. My team and I will be involved in everything product-related, including understanding market needs, defining product requirements and user experiences, partnering with engineers for launches, and supporting the sales teams’ go-to-market efforts.

What are you most excited about at Petuum?

I’ve already learned so much here and I can’t wait to learn even more. I like the fast pace and the action-driven environment. It’s a big change for me but I’m loving it.

Ying hiking the Arete Path on Ben Nevis in Scotland in 2011.

I’m very excited about Petuum’s approach to AI building and the AI applications we’re pursuing in order to give people the tools they need to make better decisions. Petuum aims to industrialize the way AI is built by turning it into a highly-structured process that can be taught to anyone with standard training manuals and produce repeatable and consistent outcomes. We call this the AI builder’s view, which covers all aspects of data processing, machine learning, and deployment. Petuum’s software platform, our “workbench,” gives users the ability to customize, completely disassemble, and creatively reassemble their AI solutions, using Petuum’s original solutions as starting points. This way, we are truly putting AI in our users’ hands for them to fully own.

A perfect example of the kinds of solutions we enable is PetuumMed, which is already working as a smart physician assistant that synthesizes doctors’ medical notes (in multiple languages), lab tests, x-rays, and CT scans into medical reports for doctors to review, edit, and sign-off on, ensuring accurate insurance claims. By taking over tedious data tasks like this, PetuumMed enables doctors to spend more time with patients and less time wrestling with medical record systems.


Do you have any advice for people pursuing similar work? 

If you are deciding whether or not to join a startup, it’s important to understand the company’s vision and make sure that you truly believe in it. The path toward that vision will most likely not be a straight line. You should always know where your vision is, where you’re going, and ensure that everything you do is pushing you toward that vision.

Another piece of advice is to have curiosity and an open mind. There is a lot to learn in the AI space, and the conventional way of thinking may need to be reexamined. Spend time observing, understanding, and learning.

Ying hiking with her son Gregory in Grindelwald, Switzerland in 2017.

What do you love to do outside of work?

The most important thing to me is my family—outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband Roy and my four-year-old son Gregory. Seeing Gregory grow has been the best experience.

Hiking is another passion, although I haven’t had much time to do it since my son was born. In the past, I’ve spent weeks in mountains each year to recharge myself. My dream is for my son to become my hiking partner when he grows up. I’ve been to various parts of China, such as Tibet, Xinjiang, Yunnan, and Sichuan, as well as England, Scotland, Ireland, and etc. I’ve also hiked Machu Pichu and around Mont Blanc in France, Italy, and Switzerland

In college I did a lot of ballroom dancing and later fell in love with Argentine Tango. Although I don’t have much time to do it now, I hope to resume it some day.

I also am always reading detective stories. While I probably won’t ever become a real detective, curiosity and analysis help my work tremendously.


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