Pei Zhang is an associate research professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering and Information Networking Institute departments at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his bachelor's degree with honors from the California Institute of Technology in 2002, and his Ph.D. 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 (focused on groups of autonomous miniature-helicopter based sensor nodes) and MARS (Muscle Activity Recognition).

Beyond research publications, Zhang's work has been featured on popular media including CNN, The Science Channel, Discovery Channel, CBS News, CNET, Popular Science, and BBC Focus. He is also a cofounder of the startup Vibradotech. In addition, he has won several awards including the NSF CAREER Award and Edith and Martin B. Stein Solar Energy Innovation Award, and is a member of the Department of Defense Computer Science Studies Panel.

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Pei Zhang
Pei Zhang

Sensing the Physical Environment: Four Examples of Inferring Data with Sensor Technology

Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Pei Zhang describes his research into how to infer data from sensor technology and provides four very different applications.


2008 Ph.D., Computer Engineering, Princeton University

2004 Master of Engineering, Computer Engineering, Princeton University

2002 BS, Electrical Engineering, California Institute of Technology

Sensing the Physical Environment: Preventing Falls in the Elderly

The leading cause of fatal injury among older adults is falling--a problem that Carnegie Mellon University's College of engineering researchers are working to address. Pei Zhang and Haeyoung Noh discuss their research: sensors placed either in senior care facilities or private homes that can anticipate and prevent falls.

Media mentions

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Bergés, Noh, and Zhang monitor cognitive decline with sensors

CEE’s Mario Bergés and Hae Young Noh and ECE’s Pei Zhang want to use sensors to improve early diagnosis of cognitive decline. By sensing electricity consumption and floor vibration patterns, they can tell the difference between confusion and proficiency in daily tasks. They may be able to use this data to detect warning signs and establish early treatment.

CMU Engineering

Detecting good vibrations, with pigs

CEE and ECE researchers use vibrational sensors to detect sick pigs and improve farm efficiency.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Jun Han pairing Iot devices by sensors

CyLab’s Jun Han discusses his research in determining how IoT devices can pair through sensing the same events in an environment.

CMU Engineering

Footsteps to preventing falls

These sensors developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon predict when a patient will fall.

CMU Silicon Valley

Zhang and Noh honored at international conferences

CMU-SV/ECE’s Pei Zhang and CEE’s Hae Young Noh and their students received honors for their work while at the SenSys and BuildSys conferences in Delft, the Netherlands.

CMU Engineering

Pei Zhang receives ACM SenSys Test of Time Award

Professor Pei Zhang was recognized at the ​15th Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys 2017) for his pioneering work in mobile sensor networks.

Zhang receives Test of Time Award 2017

ECE/INI associate research professor Pei Zhang recently received the ACM SenSys Test of Time Award (ToTA) 2017 for his 2004 research paper, “Hardware design experiences in ZebraNet.”

CMU Engineering

The muscle suit

Thanks to CMU-SV Professor Pei Zhang, the modern athlete now has access to the newest advancement in performance enhancing technology: data.

CMU Engineering

A smarter way to build things

Faculty and students in the College of Engineering are creating sensor-driven solutions to the problems ailing the structures and systems that literally support modern life.

CMU Engineering

New initiative connects research and industry

Carnegie Mellon is one of only eight institutions chosen to participate in the Faculty to Global Leaders initiative, which connects the university to a worldwide network of 20,000 chief executives in more than 120 countries.