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Dr. Xiao-Ping (Steven) Zhang

Steven Zhang

Areas of Academic Interest

Multimedia content analysis, machine learning and AI

Big Data analytics for finance, economics and marketing

Signal, data and information processing and communications

Statistical signal processing, graphical models, sensor networks, IoT and electronic systems


Year University Degree
1992 Tsinghua University BSEE
1996 Tsinghua University PhD
2008 The University of Chicago MBA

Courses Taught

Course Code Course
EE 8223 Deep Learning
ELE 888/ELE 8209 Intelligent Systems


“My past is a little bit different from a typical professor’s,” says Xiao-Ping Zhang. It’s an understatement, coming from an engineering professor with an MBA from a top-tier business school. His background includes years of experience working in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street, where he worked as a hedge fund investment strategy researcher. Those MBA and Wall Street influences are evident in his research today.

Zhang is a processing wizard. His research spans three domains: multimedia signal processing, information processing for financial and business applications, and sensor processing in the realm of the internet of things (IoT). In all areas, Zhang relies on mathematical models, machine learning/AI, probabilistic models and statistics to extract information from data signals of all sources. “We have more and more data in this world,” he says. “It’s impossible for people to look at that data and appreciate its underlying relationship or pattern by themselves.”

No matter where his career has taken him, Zhang will always be a true engineering researcher. “My motivation is to create things. I want to not only create something – theories or applications – but also make sure it works. And, hopefully, I create something that can be used by many people.”

Steven Zhang

“When we predict, we’re not predicting a deterministic outcome; we are predicting the probability of all possible outcomes.”

  • Fellow, Canadian Academy of Engineering
  • Fellow, Engineering Institute of Canada
  • Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • Sarwan Sahota Ryerson Distinguished Scholar
  • IEEE Signal Processing Society Distinguished Lecturer
  • IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Distinguished Lecturer
  • Toronto Metropolitan University Departmental Biennial Faculty Research Excellence Award (FREA)
  • Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society
  • Gavili, A., and Zhang, X.-P., “On the shift operator, graph frequency and optimal filtering in graph signal processing,” IEEE Trans. on Signal Processing, vol. 65, no. 23, pp. 6303-6318, December 2017.
  • Zhang, X.-P., and Wang, F., “Signal Processing for Finance, Economics, and Marketing,” IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, Feature Article, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 14-35, May 2017.
  • Son, C.-H., and Zhang, X.-P., “Layer-based approach for image pair fusion,” IEEE Trans. on Image Processing, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 2866-2881, June 2016.
  • Wang, F., and Zhang, X.-P.,"Reasons for market evolution and budgeting implications," Journal of Marketing, vol. 72, no. 5, pp. 15-30, September 2008.
  • Zhang, X.-P., “Thresholding neural network for adaptive noise reduction,” IEEE Trans. on Neural Networks, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 567-584, May 2001.
  • Editor-in-Chief, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing 
  • Chair for Image, Video, and Multidimensional Signal Processing Technical Committee, IEEE Signal Processing Society 
  • Board Member, IEEE SPS Conferences Board
  • Board Member, IEEE SPS Technical Directions Board
  • Senior Area Editor, IEEE Transactions on Image Processing
  • General Co-Chair, the 46th IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP 2021)