Zhizhen Cai


My lovely photo

I'm Zhizhen (Cathy) Cai, set to commence my PhD in Computer Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in fall 2024, supervised by Tianyin. Before that I got my B.E. in Computer Science at University of Science and Technology of China.

My interested topics mainly cover traditional system research, include database, parallel computing and programming language etc. I'm also a fan of combining techniques from different areas to create practical tools like An ROBDD constructor and SAT/unSAT solver.

My interest tracks: a. Systems that push performance to an extreme; b. Revisiting existing systems with new questions & designs.

Contact: zhizhen4 AT illinois.edu


Research Experience

I joined Big Data Analysis and Application in my senior year and found LLM and AI does not interest me much (but they're important, right?). I was discouraged from research for quite a while until I got interested in system topics.

Later, I had my internship at Systems and Networking Research Group in Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA), co-advised by Qi Chen and Qianxi Zhang. I had my best time in undergrad there. Their ☕ and 🍪 were really enjoyable. This experience changed my mind and I decided to study further in system area.

My work in MSRA mainly focused on investigating existing high-dimensional indices and providing a good runtime query-planning subsystem for our high-dimensional queries. Details can be found in publications section.

Intentionally blank paragraph for my next research experience :3