Zhang HeadshotDepartment Chair of Computer Science and Engineering, The Ohio State University

Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award: Education, Research, and Invention

Xiaodong Zhang (MCompSci’85, Phd’89) is an outstanding scholar who serves as chair of the Computer Science and Engineering Department at The Ohio State University and holds the Robert M. Critchfield Professorship in Engineering. He is best known for his research in memory and storage systems, which is both fundamental to system design and applicable to production implementation, directly impacting and contributing to the advancement of computer systems. He has co-authored several influential algorithms and their system implementations, which have been widely adopted in mainstream operating and database systems and commercial processors.

Before joining Ohio State in 2006, Zhang was the chair of computer science at the College of William and Mary, where he taught from 1997 to 2005. From 2001 to 2003, he was on leave to serve as a program director at the National Science Foundation, where he started several research initiatives in high-performance computing fields.

In 2010, Xiaodong endowed Ralph J. Slutz Student Excellence Scholarship in the Department of Computer Science at CU Boulder. He spent his first two years at CU Boulder working with Ralph J. Slutz (1917-2005), who was a world-class scholar and a computer pioneer, who inspired him to make an impact in computing fields.

He earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at Beijing University of Technology in 1982 and came to CU-Boulder after working at the same university for about two years, where he received master's and Ph.D. degrees in computer science in 1985 and 1989. His Ph.D. dissertation was under the supervision of Professors Richard Byrd and Robert Schnabel.