Zhi (Gerry) Tian

Engineering 3243
Office Hours: 
M: 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Home Page: 
Research Area: 
Signal Processing

I received the B.E. degree in Electrical Engineering (Automatic Control) from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), Hefei, China, in 1994, and the M. S. and Ph.D. degrees from George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, in 1998 and 2000 respectively. From 1994 to 1995, I studied in the graduate program of the department of Automation at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. From 1995 to 2000, I was a graduate research assistant in the Center of Excellence in Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I) of George Mason University. From August 2000 to December 2014, I was on the faculty of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department of Michigan Technological University, where I was promoted to Full Professor in 2011. From November 2011 to December 2014, I served as a Program Director in the Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) at the National Science Foundation (NSF), through an IPA assignment with Michigan Tech. In January 2015, I joined Mason as a Professor in the ECE department.

My general interests are in the areas of signal processing, communications, detection and estimation. Specific areas of expertise have included ultra-wideband communications, MIMO systems, statistical sensor array processing, adaptive filtering, multi-target tracking, data fusion, Bayesian inference, and decision network theory and applications. Current research focuses on compressed sensing for random processes, statistical inference of network data, cognitive radios and 5G millimeter-wave communications, and decentralized network optimization. I received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation in 2003.

I am an IEEE Fellow. I am Chair of the IEEE Signal Processing Society Big Data Special Interest Group (Big Data SIG), and previously served on the IEEE Signal Processing for Communications and Networking Technical Committee (SPCOM‐TC). I was a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society (VTS), from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2017, and a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Communications Society (ComSoc), from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2016. I delivered several tutorial talks in international conferences including ICASSP, ICC, FUSION, EUSIPCO, and APSIPA, on topics related to cognitive radio technology, compressive (covariance) sensing, and sparse signal processing. I served as Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications (2002 – 2008) and IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing (2006 – 2009).

  • My research profile is available at Google Scholar Citations.
  • I received the IEEE Communications Society TCCN Publication Award, 2018.
  • Chair, IEEE Signal Processing Society Big Data Special Interest Group.
  • IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing (JSTSP), special issue on Array Signal Processing for Angular Models in Massive MIMO Communications, submission deadline: January 31, 2019.
  • I was Conference Co-Chair for the IEEE Global Conference on Signal and Information Processing (GlobalSIP), Washington DC, December 2016.
  • Detection, Estimation, and Modulation Theory, Part I, Second Edition, Harry L Van Trees, Kristine L. Bell, with Zhi Tian, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., April 2013.
  • NSF Workshop on Real-time Learning and Decision Making on Dynamical Systems, Feb. 2018.
  • NSF Workshop on Defining Broader Impacts Activities for NSF/ECCS Grants, May 2016.
  • NSF Workshop on Big Data: From Signal Processing to Systems Engineering, March 2013.
  • NSF Workshop on Computing, Control, and Signal Processing Challenges in Future Power Systems, November 2013.

  • Current Projects

  • Spectrum Sensing for Coexistence of Active and Passive Radio Services (NSF AST: EARS)
  • Task-Cognizant Sparse Sensing for Inference (NSF CCF)
  • Privacy Attacks and Defense Mechanisms in Online Social Networks (NSF SaTC)
  • Acquisition, Collection and Computation of Dynamic Big Sensory Data in Smart Cities (NSF IIS: BIGDATA)
  • 60 GHz Millimeter-wave Testbed for Multi-gigabit Wireless Networking (NSF CNS: CRI)

  • Past Project

  • EAGER: Energy-efficient Massive MIMO Processing for Millimeter-wave Communications (NSF ECCS)

  • Possible Advisee Scholarly Paper Topics

    Wireless communications: cognitive radio, massive MIMO, 5G wireless

    Large-scale information processing: dimensionality reduction, decentralized optimization

    Spectrum sensing and learning for radio astronomy, spectrum coexistence

    Signal processing for brain networks


    Semester Catalog Course Room Lecture Times Syllabus
    Spring 2018 ECE 528 Introduction to Random Processes in Electrical and Computer Engineering Music Theater Building 1002 T: 4:30 pm - 7:10 pm

    Recent News

    • Individuals and communities increasingly coexist with machines—from traffic signals to pollution sensors to security alarms—that sense and share vast quantities of information... View more...
    • Gerry Tian of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department received $283K from the National Science Foundation for her project, “BIGDATA: F: Collaborative Research:... View more...
    • Gerry Tian of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department received $277K from the National Science Foundation for her project, “SaTC: CORE: Medium: Collaborative: Privacy... View more...