Short Bio

Zhizhen Zhong is a postdoctoral researcher at MIT CSAIL with Prof. Manya Ghobadi. His research work focuses on the intersection of networked systems and photonics/optoelectronics to build the next-generation reconfigurable computer networks and high-performance networked computing infrastructures.

Before joining MIT, he was a visiting researcher at Meta (Facebook) with Dr. Ying Zhang. He received his Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering from Tsinghua University in July 2019. His Ph.D. thesis is on "Traffic-Driven Self-Adaptive Optical Networking" that designs reconfigurable optical networks to adapt to spatiotemporal traffic demand dynamics for high throughput and low latency. He was a visiting Ph.D student at the University of California Davis, advised by Prof. Biswanath Mukherjee and Prof. Massimo Tornatore. He received his Bachelor's Degree of Engineering and secondary Bachelor's Degree of Economics from Tsinghua University in 2014 and 2016, respectively.

His awards include the Best Paper Award from OECC conference in 2022, Zijing-Scholar Fellowship from Tsinghua University in 2019, the 1st Place Best Poster Award (1 out of 600+ posters) on IEEE CLEO-PR/OECC/PGC conference from IEEE Photonics Society in 2017, the Tang Lixin Scholarship from Tsinghua University in 2016.

Press Coverage

  • [SIGCOMM 2023] Highest-Frequency Photonic-Electronic Computing System for Real-Time AI
  •       MIT News | Innovation Origins | Semiconductor Engineering | TechXplore
  • [Science 2022] Delocalized Photonic Deep Learning on the Internet's Edge
  •       MIT News | Optics & Photonics News | TechXplore
  • [ACM SIGCOMM 2021] ARROW: Restoration-Aware Traffic Engineering
  •       ACM TechNews | MIT News | TechXplore | Lifewire | 21st Century Tech | Future Tech
  • [NSDI 2021] Risk-Driven IP-Optical Network Management
  •       Facebook Engineering Blog
  • [CLEO-PR/OECC 2017] Sub-Wavelength Optical-Circuit-Switched Networks
  •       IEEE Photonics Society News

    Selected Talks

  • ARROW: Restoration-Aware Traffic Engineering
  •      February 2022, Google Networking Research Summit, online | Website
         August 2021, ACM SIGCOMM 2021, online | Website | Video
  • ARROW and BOW: Bayesian Optimization for Reconfigurable Wide-Area Networks
  •      June 2021, OFC 2021, online | Website | Video
         June 2021, MIT and University of Washington Workshop on AI Implementations and Applications, online | Website | Video
  • Leveraging Optical Noise for Fast Fiber Cut Recovery
  •      August 2020, ACM SIGCOMM 2020 Workshop on Optical Systems Design (OptSys 2020), online | Website
  • The Impact of Social Distancing on Facebook's Optical Backbone
  •      August 2020, ACM SIGCOMM 2020 Workshop on Optical Systems Design (OptSys 2020), online | Website
  • Traffic-Driven Self-Ddaptive Optical Networking
  •      October 2019, Special Seminar, China Telecom Beijing Research Institute, Beijing, China
         May 2019, Ph.D. Defense, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
  • Req2Route: learning to route for inter-domain lightpath provisioning
  •      March 2019, Post-OFC Workshop, University of California Davis, Davis, CA, USA | Website | Slides
         October 2018, AUA Postgraduate Forum, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China | Slides
  • Exploiting physical-layer flexibility for demand-responsive networks
  •      March 2019, Special Seminar, Nokia Bell Labs (Crawford Hill), Holmdel, NJ, USA | Slides
         April 2018, Special Seminar, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA | Slides
         March 2018, Post-OFC Workshop, University of California Davis, Davis, CA, USA | Website | Slides

    Open Office Hour

    I commit 1-2 hours of my spare time every week as my open office hour to meet, advise, mentor and help students/researchers who belong to underrepresented groups in the Computer Systems/Networking and Optics/Photonics community. Please fill out this form if you are interested.

    Professional Services

  • Conference
  •      External Reviewer, NSDI 2024
         Artifact Evaluation Committee Co-Chair, ACM SIGCOMM 2023
         Program Committee, ACM SIGCOMM 2023
         Program Committee, USENIX NSDI 2023
         Artifact Evaluation Committee, ACM SIGCOMM 2022
         External Reviewer, ACM IMC 2022
         Program Committee, ACM SIGCOMM 2021 Workshop on Optical Systems (OptSys 2021)
         Artifact Evaluation Committee, ACM SIGCOMM 2021
         Program Committee, WCSP 2019
  • Journals
  •      Reviewer, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
         Reviewer, IEEE Communications Magazine
         Reviewer, Optics Express
         Reviewer, Photonics Research
         Reviewer, IEEE/OSA Journal of Lightwave Technology
         Reviewer, IEEE/OSA Journal of Optical Communications and Networking
         Reviewer, IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management
         Reviewer, IEEE Photoics Journal
         Reviewer, IEEE Access
         Reviewer, ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review (SIGCOMM CCR)
         Reviewer, Photonic Network Communications
         Reviewer, Optical Switching and Networking


  • Photography
  •      In my spare time, I enjoy traveling and capturing the frozen time. See some of my photographical publications (peer reviewed) here: 1x

    All rights reserved, Zhizhen Zhong, MIT.

    Last updated: September, 2022.