Yunze Zeng
Spotlight Story

Yunze Zeng
Changing the world through wireless networking and mobile computing

Yunze Zeng is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science. He received his BS in telecommunications engineering from Beijing Jiaotong University, China, in 2012. As an undergraduate, he was a visiting student at UC San Diego.

Outside of academics, Zeng loves hiking and outdoor photography.

Note: This interview was conducted during Yunze Zeng’s tenure as a 2015/16 Business Development Fellow.

What’s important about your research—and where do you hope to take it? 

My research has covered a variety of topics in the field of wireless networking and mobile computing, including performance characterization of wireless networking, using wireless signal to sense human activities, energy-efficient design for mobile devices and 60GHz wireless networks, as well as wireless health using mobile platforms. During the past three years as a doctoral student at UC Davis, I have had more than 12 top-tier journal/conference papers published/submitted on these topics. Among these, two won the Best Paper Awards in ACM BodyNets 2013 and IFIP Networking 2014.

What are you most passionate about in your work?

Wireless technology has changed the world in the past decade and will continue changing the world in new ways. Inspired by mobile sensing platforms (e.g., smartphone and wearable devices), my current research focuses on leveraging wireless signal as a contactless sensor to enable “smart” sensing in the future smart home/office. By offloading the sensing functionality to the environment, we can enable a truly intelligent space that can sense human activity and identity in a noncontact and effortless manner purely based on wireless signal in the air.

How will being in the Business Development Fellows program help you to change the world?

Driving technology innovations that can have large-scale impacts is my career goal, and being an entrepreneur is always been my dream. Through this program, I hope to diversify how I think about my research and develop practical skills to bring research ideas to industry products. By talking to people of different backgrounds, I will also build professional networks and meet potential partners. I am gaining unique resources to foster entrepreneurship.

Now at midpoint in the program, what is the most important thing you have learned—and the most critical connection you have made?

I have gained the skill set about developing business, building innovation and fostering entrepreneurship. From the course work and discussion with peers and professors, my mind has been trained to think through a problem differently, which diversifies how I think about my research. The most critical connection I have built is the network with a variety of business-minded people!