Iowa State University

Hongwei Zhang

 Willard and Leitha Richardson Professor



Systems & Open-Source Software



WiCI Center

DNC Team

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Hongwei Zhang

I lead the Center for Wireless, Communities and Innovation (WiCI) and the Dependable Networking and Computing (DNC) Team at Iowa State University (ISU), and I serve as a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Department of Computer Science. Before joining ISU, I was with Wayne State University.

Our research explores theories, methods, and systems building-blocks for addressing dynamics and uncertainties in networked systems
. Presently, we are especially interested in the modeling, algorithmic, and systems issues in wireless sensing and control networks (e.g., those in 5G and beyond) as well as their applications in extended reality, connected and automated vehicles, precision agriculture, smart energy grid, industrial IoT, and cyber-physical-human systems in general. For instance, as a part of the AI Institutes, CPS, NeTS, US Ignite, CC*, and GOALI programs of NSF and in collaboration with industry, we have been investigating field-deployable mechanisms for predictable, real-time wireless networking as well as their integration with SDN and edge/cloud computing infrastructures for mission-critical control and AR/VR applications. (YouTube videos discussing our work on wireless networked 3D vision: US Ignite demo, GENI demo.) As a part of the NSF PAWR and GENI programs, we have been developing systems foundations for experimentation and service provisioning in rural broadband, connected and automated vehicles, as well as in federated, networked sensing. (YouTube video providing an overview of the ARA wireless living lab.)

Besides publications, o
ur work has provided foundational components for several wireless network systems, including the ARA wireless living lab for smart and connected rural communities, CyNet software-defined cyberinfrastructure for smart agriculture and transportation, the emulation system and software-defined innovation platforms for sensing and control networks of connected and automated vehicles, the WiMAX research cellular network, the KanseiGenie federated sensor networks, the NetEye experimental infrastructure (which has 176 IEEE 802.15.4 nodes and 15 802.11b/g nodes), and the DARPA sensor network systems A Line in the Sand and ExScal (which, with its 200-node 802.11b mesh network and 1,200-node mote network, was the world's largest wireless sensor network and 802.11b mesh network deployed at its time).

Our work has been recognized by the Best Paper Award at the ACM Workshop on Wireless Network Testbeds, Experimental evaluation and CHaracterization (WiNTECH) in 2023, Best Paper Honorable Mention at the IEEE Future Networks World Forum (FNWF) in 2023, 2017 - 2020 Outstanding Survey Paper Award from the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems in 2023, Best Paper Award at the IEEE International Conference on Network Softwarization (NetSoft) in 2021,
Annual Best Paper of the Journal of Systems Science and Complexity (Springer) in 2016,  Best Demo Award at the 23rd and 21st NSF GENI Engineering Conference in 2015 and 2014 respectively, Best Demo First Runner-up Award at the 20th NSF GENI Engineering Conference in 2014, Spotlight Paper of the IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing in November 2010, and Best Paper Candidate at the IEEE International Conference on Network Protocols (ICNP) in 2010. Our work has also been featured by public media such as Tech Crunch, Broadband World News, telecompetitor, Inside Towers, Computing Community Consortium (CCC), Science X, SmartPlanet, EurekAlert!, Model D, Innovation Iowa, Ames Tribune, Nevada Journal, UMTRI Connected Vehicle News, Michigan University Research Corridor News, Wayne State University New Science Magazine, CBS, and Today@Wayne. I received the NSF CAREER Award in 2011.

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