Employee Focus on Walter Wu


Walter Wu

Name: Walter Wu, PhD
Pronouns: He/Him
Degrees and Institutions Attended: PhD in Psychology and Translational Sensory Science, University of Minnesota, BS and MS in Psychology, National ChengChi University, Taiwan
Current Title: Assistant Professor – Provost’s Fellow
Hometown: Changhua, Taiwan
Years of Employment at the College of Optometry: This is my first year.


What brought you to the college of Optometry?

The College of Optometry at Ohio State is well-regarded for its contributions to vision science and optometric education. Throughout my graduate studies, I had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with several faculty members from the college. In the final year of my Ph.D., I applied for the Fellow-to-Faculty position at the college. My on-site interview highlighted the welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. This position presented a valuable chance for me, as a recent Ph.D. graduate, to lay the groundwork for and evolve my research program.

Describe your typical day at work or describe your position/role.

Walter Wu

My workdays are varied, but I strive for predictability. Each day begins with checking my emails and calendar events to outline my agenda. Once I arrive at my office, I dedicate time to writing and reading, if my schedule isn't filled with meetings. In the afternoons, I prioritize checking in with my lab team to gauge the progress of our projects and often immerse myself in coding for experiments and analyzing data.

My primary role at the college is that of a new research faculty member, learning all the rules, revising all different documents, and building my research program. Additionally, I serve on the Digital Accessibility Committee, reflecting my commitment to accessibility, a matter I frequently contemplate.

What brings you the most joy in your work?

What brings me the most joy in my work is the exchange of ideas and thoughts with colleagues and students on challenging research questions. Finding creative solutions to these difficult questions together is incredibly rewarding.

What do you do for fun outside of work?

Walter Wu

Outside of work, I have a few activities that I particularly enjoy:

  • Podcasts and Audiobooks: I enjoy the time listening to podcasts and audiobooks. It’s always enlightening to discover new concepts and ideas I’ve previously not considered or known about. It’s like Netflix for ears.
  • Photography: Despite what might seem paradoxical for a person with visual impairment, I find joy in photography. Someday, I hope to create a multisensory photography exhibition, allowing visitors to experience each photo through various senses.
  • Learning New Languages: Over the past few years, I've cultivated the habit of learning new languages. I've been studying Japanese for three years and am planning to start learning Korean next. It’s also an excellent way to reconnect with the mindset of being a student and continuously challenge myself.
Walter Wu

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Winning the lottery, hmm. Well, after my victory dance and buying a round of coffee for my lab and colleagues, I'd keep the research grind going. Science never sleeps, and neither does our curiosity—even if I can finally afford that fancy espresso machine. I’d love to set up a research fund at OSU to dive into visual impairment studies. It’s also the perfect excuse to build a research center on campus, 'The Center for Sensory Loss Research'. In the end, it’s all about giving back, one breakthrough at a time, with maybe a few extra zeroes in the grant money column!