New Faculty Member, 2022–23
Jeff (Jun) Zhang
Assistant professor, Electrical engineering
Jeff (Jun) Zhang received his first personal computer as a gift for his 10th birthday. From the moment he turned on that Intel 486-based machine, he fell in love with the technology and wanted to know everything he could about hardware and software.
Zhang says this experience motivated him to learn a programming language at very young age, then study computer and information science in college and eventually conduct research in computer engineering.
“My field moves very quickly, both in terms of the technology and also its applications,” he says. “These innovations inspire me to learn new things every day; and the fact that most of the problems we are trying to solve come from the real world makes me especially excited to contribute.”
Zhang is joining the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University in the spring of 2023, after serving as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. He says he was drawn to ASU because of the strong reputation of its engineering programs and the caliber of the people with whom he can collaborate.
“Also, the Phoenix metro area is a future hub of the semiconductor industry and it’s already attracting young talent who create huge opportunities for future research,” he says.
Zhang says artificial intelligence and machine learning enable us to enjoy better lives, but they also pose many practical challenges on the technology and engineering fronts, especially in computing.
“For that reason, I look forward to working with my amazing colleagues and students at ASU to build novel circuits, architectures and systems for next-generation applications driven by AI/ML to serve our broader community,” he says.
Zhang will begin his teaching at the Fulton Schools with a VLSI Circuit Design course, and he says students should be prepared to solve real-world challenges.
“They will learn how tiny, modern computer chips are built from billions of transistors, how to achieve high-performance, energy-aware and reliable computing, and how to tailor the hardware circuits to software (applications) for maximal efficiency,” he says. “They will get not only the knowledge from the classroom, but more valuable, hands-on experience in the lab, as well as critical thinking and problem-solving training that will help their future careers.”
When not at work to advance the field of computing, Zhang says he enjoys sports, new music and movies, and traveling with his family.
Written by Gary Werner