I joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering department of Rutgers University as an Assistant Professor in 2002. In 2008, I was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure, and in 2015, was promoted to full Professor. I am also a member of the Wireless Information Networking Laboratory (Winlab). During March-July 2009, I was a visiting scientist at Nokia Research Center Beijing. Prior to joining Rutgers, I completed my Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering at Penn State University in 2002, and my B.S. in Computer Science at University of Science and Technology of China in 1997.

I am the recipient of the NSF CAREER award. I am currently an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing and IEEE Transactions on Services Computing. I have served on TPC for many conferences, including Infocom, ICDCS, DSN, IPSN, etc.

Research [Publications][CV]

My primary research interest is developing efficient sensing and mobile systems, through rethinking network architecture and communication protocols. Currently, I am building large single-hop sensor networks using transmit-only sensors, which promises to significantly cut down power consumption and improve channel utilization. This technology has led to the launch of Owl Platform. In addition, I am developing unobtrusive techniques to extract important contextual information from people's everyday life. For example, we can track people's indoor locations without having them wear any devices; we can infer the number of people a person speaks to everyday without compromising their privacy. I am now applying these techniques in domains including smart building, aging in place, and youth psychology.

I am also involved in developing the global name resolution system (GNRS) for the MobilityFirst Future Internet Architecture at WINLAB. GNRS can seamlessly support internet access (with latencies lower than 100ms) for billions of mobile devices.

In the past, I have worked on a variety of projects on sensor networks and distributed computing, including item-level asset-tracking using active RFID, congestion alleviation through resource control in sensor networks, sensor network jamming resistance, source location privacy in sensor networks; cache and forward Internet architecture, and CPU scheduling for clusters and grids.

Below I list five recent publications (within last 5 years):
  • C. Xu, S. Li, G. Liu, Y. Zhang, E. Miluzzo, Y. Chen, J. Li, and B. Firner. "Crowd++: unsupervised speaker count with smartphones," in Proceedings of Ubicomp'13.
  • T. Sun, B. Zan, Y. Zhang, M. Gruteser, "The Boomerang Protocol: Tieing Data to Geographic Locations in Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks," IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, July 2012.
  • T. Vu, A. Baid, Y. Zhang, T. Nguyen, J. Fukuyama, R. Martin and D. Raychaudhuri, "DMap: A Shared Hosting Scheme for Dynamic Identifier to Locator Mappings in the Global Internet," in Proceedings of ICDCS'12.
  • C. Xu, B. Firner, Y. Zhang, R. Howard and J. Li, "Improving RF-Based Device-Free Passive Localization In Cluttered Indoor Environments Through Probabilistic Classification Methods," in Proceedings of IPSN'12.
  • B. Firner, C. Xu, R. Howard, Y. Zhang, "Multiple Receiver Strategies for Minimizing Packet Loss in Dense Sensor Networks," in Proceedings of MobiHoc'10.


Currently I am supervising the following Ph.D. students:
  • Feixiong Zhang (fourth year)
  • Sugang Li (second year)
  • Mussab Ali (first year)
I am also working with the following Master students:
  • Jakub Kolodziejski (thesis: low-cost, contact-free moisture sensor design)
  • Zhenhua Jia (non thesis option)
  • Bashar Alhamdani (thesis: passive RF fall detection)
I have graduated the following students (with first employment):
  • Chenren Xu, Ph.D., Learning Human Contexts through Unobtrusive Methods, 2014. (Postdoc Fellow at CMU)
  • Tingting Sun, Ph.D., Enhancing Network Functionality for Emerging Mobile Networks through Learning, 2014. (Bloomberg)
  • Bernard Firner, Ph.D., Transmit Only for Dense Wireless Networks, 2013. (Instructor at Rutgers and Owl Platform)
  • Lijun Dong, Ph.D., Content Caching, Retrieval and Dissemination in Networks with Storage, 2011. (Interdigital)
  • Gautam Bhanage, Ph.D., Network Virtualization on the Wireless Edge, 2011. (Juniper)
  • Shengchao Yu, Ph.D., Robust Sentry-Based Schemes: Towards Long-Lived, Fault-Tolerant Wireless Sensor Networks, 2011. (FlexTrade Systems)
  • Yinglung Liang, Ph.D., Failure Analysis, Modeling, and Prediction for IBM BlueGene/L, 2007. (
  • Pandurang Kamat Ph.D., co-chair with Wade Trappe, Providing Privacy in Sensor Networks, 2007. (
  • Wenyuan Xu, Ph.D., co-chair with Wade Trappe, Defending Wireless Networks from Radio Interference Attacks, 2007. (Assistant Prof. at University of South Carolina)
  • Jaewon Kang, Ph.D., co-chair with Badri Nath, Congestion Control in Wireless Sensor Networks, 2006. (Telcordia)
We are constantly looking for motivated students who are not afraid of taking risks, doing the hard work, or at least deploying sensors in the wild. I especially encourage students from the underrepresented group to apply.

Here are some pictures with the students: [At Rutgers Day], [At Winlab], [At Owl Lab], [At Orbit Room]. These pictures never fail to make me feel proud and satisfied.


In Fall 2015, I am teaching Parallel and Distributed Computing/Systems. For students who are taking these classes, please visit Sakai for more detailed course information. If you wish to be added to Sakai, please email me.

Office hours are by appointment.


Recently, I have served on TPCs for the following conferences:
  • 2014: Infocom, IPSN, ICDCN, NOM workshop, ICPP
  • 2013: Infocom, ICDCS, ICPP, ANCS, ICCCN, CosDEO
  • 2012: ICDCS, PhoneCom, MSN

Contact Information

Technology Center of New Jersey
671 Rt. 1 South
North Brunswick, NJ 08902-3390
yyzhang at winlab dot rutgers dot edu
phone:(848) 932-0911
fax: (732) 932-6882