Zhenge Zhao

PhD Student

Office: GS 756

Interests: Interactive data visualization, big data analysis, machine learning


I was born in Jingzhou, which is a beautiful town in the middle part of China. I stayed there until I finished my high school. In 2009, I got accepted to Huazhong University of Science & Technology. I finished my undergraduate courses there and got a bachelor degree in Computer Engineering. In 2014, I came to the United States and continued my study in the major of computer science in the University of Illinois at Springfield. I got my master degree in one and a half years and graduated with honors. I got a job from Hanson Professional Services Inc. In 2016, after working for half a year, I chose to continue my academic career as a Ph.D. student in the Department of Computer Science, University of Arizona.

​​​​​Research Interests

My main research interests are data visualization and data analysis. I am interested in building interactive visualization tools to help domain experts understand their data and identify hidden patterns. I am also interested in constructing different data-driven infrastructures like building distributed system to do big data processing or training recommendation system to give users valuable suggestions.

What long-term project do you want to work on?

For a long-term project, I want to work on data visualization project which could give general improvement for large-scale visualization. Interactive visualization is a great help in understanding and exploring data, but the diversity of data creates serious obstacles for simply adoption. I would like to study these obstacles and provide general solutions to remove them.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

The part I enjoy most is that I can work with different domain experts. To understand their need and give decent solutions, I need to work closely with them and continuously improve my work based on their feedback. Another fun thing is that I can gain new knowledge from various domains. This for sure broadens my horizons as a science student.

What are your career goals?

My short-term career goal is finishing my Ph.D. in 2021. For a long-term goal, I would like to continue my academic career in either an industry research lab or a university.

​​​​Tell us something interesting about yourself!

I have broad extra-curricular interests. I love sports. I workout a lot and I am a big basketball fan (Go Spurs Go!). I also play soccer and practice Krav Maga. I enjoy watching old movies and my favorite director is Akira Kurosawa. I also play a lot of PC games like WOW and DOTA in my undergraduate years. I was invited by a professional Union to become a professional game player but finally, I rejected it.