Dr. Rong Zheng


Video of the Researcher




Full name

Dr. Rong Zheng


Helping data center operator to improve the efficiency of the operation and also to ensure the continuous operation by developing customized sensor platform that can collect information from the environment and intelligent network protocols that can extract data from distributed sensors

Type of researcher

Principal Investigator

Introduce yourself, your experience and your credentials

Rong Zheng (S’03-M’04-SM’10) received her Ph.D. degree from Dept. of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and earned her M.E. and B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Tsinghua University, P.R. China. She is now a Professor in the Dept. of Computing and Software, an associate member of the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engr., and a member of the School of Computational Science and Engineering in McMaster University, Canada. She was on the faculty of the Department of Computer Science, University of Houston from 2004 to 2012. Rong Zheng was a visiting Associate Professor in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University from Aug. 2011 to Jan. 2012; and a visiting Research Scientist in Microsoft Research, Redmond between Feb. 2012 and May 2012. She is a member of the MacData institute and a Principle Investigator the Computing Infrastructure Research Centre (CIRC).

Rong Zheng’s research interests include machine learning, mobile computing and networked systems. She received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2006, and was a Joseph Ip Distinguished Engineering Fellow from 2015 – 2018. She serves on the technical program committees of leading networking conferences including INFOCOM, ICDCS, ICNP, RTSS, IPSN etc. She is currently an editor of IEEE Transactions on Mobile computing, IEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering, IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, and has served as a guest editor for EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing, Special issue on wireless location estimation and tracking, Elsevlers Computer Communications – Special Issue on Cyber Physical Systems; Program co-chair of WASA’12, CPSCom’12, MobileHealth’14, CrowdSenSys’17; and general co-chair of EUC’16.

Describe your research

The main recent research theme in my group is sensing, connectivity and intelligence. By sensing I mean that we develop customized sensor platform that can collect information from the environment. By connectivity it means that we develop network protocols that can extract data from distributed sensors, and for intelligence it means that we want to extract useful information and knowledge from the sensor data by developing data analytic techniques.

So if we look at each of those aspects the specific solutions are certainly very application dependent. For example in the context of indoor localization we use non-conventional sensing modalities such as microphones and the RF interface that allows us to be able to track people and asset in an indoor environment.

This lab that you see that this is a CIRC that stands for Computer Infrastructure Research Center. So here we are doing a multi-disciplinary project in data center monitoring. This is in collaboration with mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, as well as an industrial partner Cinnos. So in this project we developed customized sensors that communicate through a two-tier network that uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology and to collect the data that’s coming from the specific world that we have developed, including temperature measurement as well as the air pressure measurement.

So those information will be able to help us to determine what is the current operation and whether there’s any faults in the power distribution system, in IT or in the cooling system. Such information will help the data center operator to improve the efficiency of the operation and also to ensure the continuous operation, especially in situation that is mission-critical such as high performance data centers.

Explain its significance

So why is my research important. If you look at living organism sensing actuation is one of the most fundamental capability that animals or even cells can do. But for man-made systems we do not yet have such kind of capability. For instance we cannot have a system that automatically and robustly adapt to changes and make decisions accordingly.

That’s why my research can bridge the gap between sensing and actuation by developing both hardware platform, software solutions, new algorithms, as well as network protocols to make that possible.


Institution name

McMaster University

Type of institution