Carnegie Mellon University

Pei Zhang

Pei Zhang

Associate Research Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Address Carnegie Mellon University
Silicon Valley
Building 23
Moffett Field, CA


Pei Zhang is an associate research professor in the ECE departments at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Zhang’s research interest is in cyber physical systems, internet of things, and sensor networks. He received his bachelor's degree with honors from California Institute of Technology in 2002, and his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University in 2008. While at Princeton University, he developed the ZebraNet system, which is used to track zebras in Kenya. It was the first deployed, wireless, ad- hoc, mobile sensor network. His recent work includes SensorFly (focus on groups of autonomous miniature-helicopter based sensor nodes) and MARS (Muscle Activity Recognition). Beyond research publications, his work has been featured on popular media including CNN, NBC, Science Channel, Discovery Channel, CBS News, CNET, Popular Science, BBC Focus, etc. He is also a cofounder of the startup Vibrado tech. In addition, he has won several awards including the NSF CAREER, Edith and Martin B. Stein Solar Energy Innovation Award, and a member of the Department of Defense Computer Science Studies Panel.


Ph.D., 2008 
Computer Engineering 
Princeton University

M.E., 2004 
Computer Engineering 
Princeton University

B.S., 2002 
Electrical Engineering 
California Institute of Technology


Embedded systems have become pervasive in everyday life and have largely decentralized computing onto distributed devices. These heterogeneous devices, from sensor networks to mobile phone systems, each has different sensing and communication capabilities. Given their wide distribution and deployment, together they can be used in a large range of applications, ranging from assisted living and home monitoring, to city traffic management and emergency response. One common challenge for these applications is the need for context that cannot be reliably obtained from just static, personal, or controlled mobile sensors. My research focuses on distributed sensing and processing in/between these heterogeneous systems. As a part of this effort, we are developing a new controlled mobile sensor network platform, which provides a new dimension to future applications.


  • Sensor networks
  • Embedded systems