Speaker > Biography
Biography of Ya-Qin Zhang
Ya-Qin Zhang serves as corporate vice president, leading Microsoft's overall research and development efforts in China. Together with his team, he will drive the company’s next wave of evolution in Asia. In this role, he will also serve as a key advisor to government and academia in the region.
Respected and lauded by his peers as a world-renowned researcher and scientist, Zhang joined Microsoft in January 1999, bringing with him a wealth of technical knowledge in wireless and satellite communications, networking, digital video and multimedia technology. He has more than 50 U.S. patents granted, and has authored more than a dozen books and 300 influential technical papers and journal articles.
Previously, Zhang served as corporate vice president at Microsoft’s Mobile and Embedded Devices Division, where he oversaw research and development of Windows Mobile™ software for Pocket PCs and Smartphones and Windows® Embedded operating systems, including Windows CE.
Zhang is one of the founding members of the Microsoft Research Asia lab, where he served as managing director and chief scientist. As managing director, he built the lab into a regional Asian research powerhouse that now employs more than 200 researchers. Under Zhang’s leadership Microsoft Research Asia became a considerable and constant contributor to Microsoft’s core technology. Today, more than 100 innovations have made their way into critical products such as the next generation of the Microsoft Windows desktop operating system, Windows Vista™. Zhang also founded the Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in 2003.
Before joining Microsoft, Zhang was director for the Multimedia Technology Laboratory at Sarnoff Corp., where he oversaw the development of several significant digital video encoding and communications technologies. Previously, he worked as a senior technical staff member for GTE Laboratories Inc. and Contel Corp.
Zhang serves on the board of directors for many technology companies and has contributed to multiple international technology standards. In 1997, he became the youngest-ever Fellow for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and has served as editor in chief for influential IEEE journals and publications. Zhang also serves on a variety of global technology standards committees, is an adjunct or frequent guest professor at many prestigious universities, and is an adviser to several Chinese and U.S. government agencies, including the National Science Foundation.
He has won many nationwide and regional professional awards, including the 1998 Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer from the National Electrical Engineer Honor Society of Eta Kappa Nu, the 1997 Research Engineer of the Year from the Central Jersey Engineering Council and, recently, the Industrial Pioneer Award from the IEEE.
Zhang has a PhD in electrical engineering from George Washington University and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Science and Technology of China.