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Nian Zhang, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
nzhang@udc.edu; 202.274.6615

Research Interests: Dr. Zhang's research expertise and interests include computational intelligence, machine learning and data mining, and various application fields including big data science, class imbalance problem, time series prediction, biomedical engineering, and autonomous robot navigation. Her long term goal is to advance the foundations and principles of imbalanced learning, enhance the quality of undergraduate STEM education and research, and broaden participation in the nation’s STEM workforce and STEM graduate programs.

Career in Brief: Dr. Zhang received her B.S. degree (with honor) in Electrical Engineering from Wuhan University of Technology, M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology. Her Ph.D. advisor is Dr. Donald C. Wunsch II, Mary K. Finley Missouri Distinguished Professor, Missouri University of Science & Technology.

Current Externally Funded Projects:

Nian Zhang (Sole PI), “An Intelligent Optimization, Clustering and Classification Framework for High Dimensional, Overlapped Classes, and Imbalanced Data,” National Science Foundation. 2015 – 2017. $200K.

Lara Thompson, Nian Zhang (Co-PI), and Sasan Haghani, “Integration, Cultivation, and Exposure to Biomedical Engineering at the University of the District of Columbia,” National Science Foundation. 2015 – 2018. $400K.

Previous Externally Funded Projects:

Nian Zhang (PI), Esther Ososanya, and Wagdy Mahmoud, “U.S. - China Planning Visit: Collaborative Research on Computational Intelligence Systems in Renewable Energy Engineering Applications,” National Science Foundation. 2011.

Honors and Awards:

  • Excellence in Teaching Award.
  • Outstanding Research Mentorship Award.
  • Myrtilla Miner Faculty Fellow.
  • ONR Summer Research Faculty Fellow.
  • Chair of ECE Department Curriculum Committee.
  • Chair of Annual Discover Innovation Day at UDC.
  • Faculty mentor in the UDC’s STEM Center (supported by NSF and NIH MARC programs).
  • Invited talks at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 2009, 2011, and 2015.
  • Associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems.
  • Guest editor of Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience Journal.
  • Guest editor of International Journal of Systems, Control and Communications (IJSCC).
  • NSF Review Panelist.
  • Judge at ABRCMS, BKX/NIS, and ERN Conferences.
  • Publications Chair of over 20 IEEE sponsored international conferences.
  • IEEE Senior Member.
  • Neural Networks Technical Committee Member, IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (CIS).
  • Best Paper Award recipient for the paper entitled “A Fuzzy Attributed Graph Approach to Subcircuit Extraction Problem,” Nian Zhang and Donald C. Wunsch II, IEEE International Conference on Fuzzy Systems (FUZZ-IEEE), St. Louis, MO, May 25-28, 2003.

Upcoming Conferences: