WeWork featuring Haixun Wang & Shengqi Yang

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 2:00pm to 4:30pm
HFH 1132
WeWork: The Future of Workspace
Haixun Wang & Shengqi Yang
Xifeng Yan

WeWork: The Future of Workspace

Office Hours: 2:00 – 3:00 (HFH 1152)

Talk: 3:30 – 4:30 PM (HFH 1132)


Host: Xifeng Yan


WeWork is the world’s leading co-working company and one of most valuable startups.  It is now in 83 cities (24 countries) around the world and services more than 300k members who run the gamut from entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses, to middle-market and Fortune 500 corporations.  In WeWork, we foresee the future of workspace. Workspaces, such as collaborative coworking spaces, have flourished over the decade. Compared with traditional office configured with constrained physical location and rigid work settings, modern and smart workspaces present a wide variety of locations, human-centric environments and high-tech assistants. In such workspaces, large volumes of data is constantly produced revealing how people are behaving and interacting during their work.

In this talk, we will discuss several real scenarios towards building a workspace by harnessing large-scale workspace data and applying data-driven techniques. Specifically, with intelligent sensors and people-spatial data, applications can be built to provide diagnoses, predictions, and recommendations of space usage. The applications also help discover the patterns from the data to understand the health of an organization or suggest interventions that can help improve the health. In addition, by adopting CV/NLP/Speech techniques, we can provide services, such as printer setup and restroom cleaning, on the fly. This could effortlessly reduces people’s hassles and thus optimizes their working conditions. Moreover, modern workspaces are closely integrated with cities, playing a vital role in connecting and uplifting the local economy. We employ data-driven approaches and numerous internal & external data to cope with the challenges on where and how to build workspaces that can better fit into local communities.


Haixun Wang

Haixun Wang is VP of Engineering and Distinguished Scientist at WeWork and an IEEE fellow. Before joining WeWork, he was a Director of Natural Language Processing at Amazon. From 2015 to 2017, he led the NLP organization in Facebook working on query and document understanding. From 2013 to 2015, he was with Google Research, working on natural language processing. From 2009 to 2013, he led research in knowledge base, graph systems, and text processing at Microsoft Research Asia. He had been a research staff member at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center from 2000 – 2009. He was Technical Assistant to Stuart Feldman (Vice President of Computer Science of IBM Research) from 2006 to 2007, and Technical Assistant to Mark Wegman (Head of Computer Science of IBM Research) from 2007 to 2009. He received the Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2000. He has published more than 200 research papers in international journals and conference proceedings. He served as PC chairs of many academic conferences, and he is on the editorial board of journals such as IEEE Transactions of Knowledge and Data Engineering (TKDE) and Journal of Computer Science and Technology (JCST). He won the best paper award in ICDE 2015, 10 year best paper award in ICDM 2013, and best paper award of ER 2009.

Shengqi Yang

Shengqi Yang is a Senior Manager and Staff Scientist at WeWork. Prior to WeWork, he was managing the NLP and Knowledge Discovery team at JD.com. His work supported JD.com’s E-commerce platform and improved Ads CTR dramatically in several key products. From 2015 to 2017, he was a Senior Research Scientist and Tech lead at Facebook, where he was leading the efforts on Photo/Post search ranking and Multilingual natural language understanding. He received his Ph.D. from the Computer Science Department at UC, Santa Barbara in 2015. He has published many research works and serviced as reviewer in major conferences.

About WeWork

WeWork is the world’s leading co-working company and one of most valuable startups. It is now in 83 cities (24 countries) around the world and services more than 300k members who run the gamut from entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses, to middle-market and Fortune 500 corporations (e.g., Microsoft, Facebook, Adidas, Citi, etc). In addition to workspace offering, WeWork also build and ship services, such as productivity tools, finance, legal, marketing and consulting, to its members.

At WeWork, we strive to bring members to a community which transformed traditional physical space into an intelligent environment with meaningful people-workspace interactions. In pursuit of this mission, the People & Spatial Insight Org and Research & Applied Science Org have been developing various effective solutions. Our techniques are built upon a large volume of longtime accumulated data at WeWork, ranging from voice, images, videos, text, sensor data, office layouts, room usage, meetings, to people behaviors, company growth/lifecycle, local geospatial data, city microeconomics and macroeconomics. The goal is to deliver highly engaging products inside and outside WeWork, such as office robots, chatbot, voice assistant, augmented/automatic office design, demand forecasting, dynamic pricing, team productivity tools and more.

Job Positions

Research & Applied Science

NLP and Machine Learning Scientist
Research Scientist in Computer Vision
Research Scientist in Data Management
Research Scientist & Engineer in Robotics
Research Scientist in Sensor Networks and IoT
Data Analyst and Data Scientist
Machine Learning Engineer


Spatial & People Analytics


Software Engineer - Backend
Software Engineer - Frontend
Software Engineer - Full-stack
Firmware/Embedded System Engineer
Senior Hardware Engineer
QA Engineer


Everyone welcome!