Cheng Zhang is a Ph.D. candidate in computer science at Ubicomp Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he works with Dr. Gregory Abowd (CS) and Dr.Omer Inan(ECE). His research interests are ubiquitous computing and human-computer interaction(HCI). More specifically, his research examines how to solicit information on and around the human body to address real-world challenges in various application areas, such as interaction, health sensing, and activity recognition. His Ph.D. thesis presents over 10 different novel input techniques for wearables, some leveraging commodity devices while others incorporate new hardware. He usually builds sensing systems from the bottom to the top, including understanding the physical phenomenon, building hardware prototypes, designing form factors, processing data, and designing algorithms (machine learning or physics-based modeling). His work has resulted in over a dozen publications in top-tier conferences and journals in the field of Human-Computer Interaction and Ubiquitous Computing (including two best paper awards), as well as over 8 pending U.S. and international patents. His work also has attracted the attention of various media outlets, including ScienceDaily, DigitalTrends, ZDNet, New Scientist, RT, TechRadar, Phys.org, Yahoo News, Business Insider, and MSN News.
He is also an alumnus of The Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results (TI:GER) program, which is a joint program held between the Business School at Georgia Tech and the Law School at Emory University. This program taught him how to commercialize new technology and present innovative products to the market. The work that leverages commodity devices has resulted in significant commercial impact, including the adoption of tap input on commodity smartphones by Atlanta startup AgVoice, and licensing by Canadian startup ProximityHCI to improve the smartwatch interaction experience.
Before coming to Georgia Tech, he received his bachelor’s degree in software engineering from Nankai University and his master’s degree from the Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences as an outstanding graduate, where he started his curiosity on HCI and acquired his first-hand research experience across tangible user interface, HCI for children, music interface.
He is an enthusiastic sports fan and enjoys running in spare time. His first half-marathon was completed within two hours on Nov. 26, 2015 in Atlanta Thanksgiving Half Marathon.