Zhichao Cao Ph.D
Office: Room 3224, Engineering Building, 428 S. Shaw Lane, East Lansing, MI 48824
Email: caozc at msu dot edu


I am an assistant professor at Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Michigan State University (MSU). I am also a faculty affiliate of AgBioResearch at MSU. I joined MSU at 2020. Before that, I had worked in School of Software, Tsinghua University for 6 years. I received my Ph.D. degree supervised by Yunhao Liu at 2013 in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of Hong Kong University of Scienc and Technology. I received my B.E. degree at 2009 in the Department of Computer Science and Technology of Tsinghua University. My research interests lie broadly in IoT systems, edge computing and mobile computing. Currently, I serve as Associate Editor for ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks (TOSN), which is the flag journal related to computational intelligence in IoT.


  • [Service] Invited to be a TPC member of IEEE INFOCOM 2025
  • [Award] Yidong Ren won the Travel Grant of MobiSys 2024. Congratulation to Yidong.
  • [Service] Invited to be the TPC Co-Chair of IEEE ICPADS 2024
  • [Service] Invited to be the Track TPC Co-Chair for the "Wireless&Mobile Sensing and Networking" track of IEEE MSN 2024
  • [Award] I won NSF CAREER Award entitled "LoRa Enabled Space-air-ground Integrated Networks for Next-Generation Agricultural IoT". Thank NSF for the support.
  • [Service] Invited to be a TPC member of ACM SenSys 2024
  • [Wireless Networking] Our paper "ChirpTransformer: Versatile LoRa Encoding for Low-power Wide-area IoT" is accepted by ACM MobiSys 2024. Congratulations to Yidong Ren and Chenning Li!
  • [Mobile Security] A collaboration paper "Eye of Sauron: Long-Range Hidden Spy Camera Detection and Positioing with Inbuilt Memory EM Radiation" is accepted by USENIX Security 2024. Congratulations to Daibo Liu!
  • [Service] Invited to be a TPC member of IEEE MASS 2024
  • [Service] Invited to be a TPC member of IEEE ICDCS 2024.
  • [EIN Group] Manni Liu and Li Liu have successfully passed their Ph.D dissertation defense. Congratulations.
  • [Wireless Networking] Our paper "Demeter: Reliable Cross-soil LPWAN with Low-cost Signal Polarization Alignment" is accepted by ACM MobiCom 2024. Congratulations to Yidong Ren!

Edge Intelligence and Networking (EIN) Group [Group Members]

Our EIN research group consists of 6 PhD candidates with diverse undergraduate backgrounds. We focus on broad networking optimization and computational intelligence topics we have met during developing and implementing various edge and IoT systems.
Research Projects:
  • FedIoT: Efficient and Scalable Federated Learning systems for IoT. (2021 - Present)
  • FarmEye: A large-scale agriclture data collection and analysis system with LoRa and AI. (2021 - Present)
  • DeepSensing: Deep Neural Network augmented RF sensing systems. (2020 - Present)
  • MobileSEC: Mobile system security and privacy ralted to cameras and microphones. (2020 - Present)
  • IndoorSys: Practical tracking systems in indoor environments with mobile devices and RF infrastrucutres. (2019 - 2022)
  • LoSee: A wide-area vehicle tracking system with LoRa. (2018 - 2020)
  • BatteryLink: A product-cycle management system for lead batteries. (2016 - 2019)
  • OilNet: A high speed mesh back-bone network for wild oil fields. (2014 - 2016)
  • CitySee: A long-term city-wide urban sensing system for Carbon balance evaluation and environmental surveillance. (2012 - 2014)
  • GreenOrbs: A long-term kilo-scale wireless sensor network system in the vast forest. (2009 - 2012)

I am recruting motivated PhD students who share the same research interests with us.

Surveys, Highlights, and Benchmarks

  • Jialuo Du, Yidong Ren, Mi Zhang, Yunhao Liu, and Zhichao Cao.
    NELoRa-Bench: A Benchmark for Neural-Enhanced LoRa Demodulation. ML4IoT Workshop on ICLR 2023.
  • Chenning Li, Hanqing Guo, Shuai Tong, Zhichao Cao, Mi Zhang, Qiben Yan, Li Xiao, Jiliang Wang, and Yunhao Liu.
    NELoRa: Neural-enhanced Demodulation for Low-Power WANs. ACM SIGMOBILE GetMobile, (Sep, 2022). (SenSys'21 Best Paper)
  • Chenning Li, and Zhichao Cao.
    LoRa Networking Techniques for Large-scale and Long-term IoT: A Down-to-top Survey. ACM Computing Survey (CSUR) 55(3):52, (2022).
  • Chenning Li, Zhichao Cao, and Yunhao Liu.
    Deep AI Enabled Ubiquitous Wireless Sensing: A Survey. ACM Computing Survey (CSUR) 54(2):32, (2021).
  • Nikolay Ivanov, Chenning Li, Qiben Yan, Zhiyuan Sun, Zhichao Cao, and Xiapu Luo.
    Security Threat Mitigation for Smart Contracts: A Comprehensive Survey. ACM Computing Survey (CSUR) 55(14):326, (2023).

Selected Publications [Full List]

    Wireless Networking

  • Chenning Li*, Yidong Ren*, Shuai Tong, Shakhrul Iman Siam, Mi Zhang, Jiliang Wang, Yunhao Liu and Zhichao Cao. (*Co-primary author)
    ChirpTransformer: Versatile LoRa Encoding for Low-power Wide-area IoT. MobiSys 2024.
  • Yidong Ren, Wei Sun, Jialuo Du, Huaili Zeng, Younsuk Dong, Mi Zhang, Shigang Chen, Yunhao Liu, Tianxing Li, and Zhichao Cao.
    Demeter: Reliable Cross-soil LPWAN with Low-cost Signal Polarization Alignment. MobiCom 2024.
  • Jialuo Du, Yidong Ren, Zhui Zhu, Chenning Li, Zhichao Cao, Qiang Ma, and Yunhao Liu.
    SRLoRa: Neural-enhanced LoRaWeak Signal Decoding with Multi-gateway Super Resolution. MobiHoc 2023.
  • ML/Edge System

  • Chenning Li, Xiao Zeng, Mi Zhang, and Zhichao Cao.
    PyramidFL: A Fine-grained Client Selection Framework for Efficient Federated Learning. MobiCom 2022.
  • Mobile Security/Application

  • Qibo Zhang, Daibo Liu, Xinyu Zhang, Zhichao Cao, Fanzi Zeng, Hongbo Jiang, and Wenqiang Jin.
    Eye of Sauron: Long-Range Hidden Spy Camera Detection and Positioing with Inbuilt Memory EM Radiation. USENIX Security 2024.
  • Gen Li, Zhichao Cao, and Tianxing Li.
    EchoAttack: Practical Inaudible Attacks To Smart Earbuds. MobiSys 2023.
  • Li Liu, Zhichao Cao, and Tianxing Li.
    FaceTouch: Practical Face Touch Detection with a Multimodal Wearable System for Epidemiological Surveillance. IoTDI 2023.
  • Wireless Sensing

  • Maolin Gan, Yimeng Liu, Chenshu Wu, Younsuk Dong, Huacheng Zeng, and Zhichao Cao.
    Poster: mmLeaf: Versatile Leaf Wetness Detection via mmWave Sensing. MobiSys 2023.
  • Chenning Li, Li Liu, Zhichao Cao, and Mi Zhang.
    WiVelo: Fine-grained Walking Velocity Estimation for Wi-Fi Passive Tracking. SECON 2022.
  • Chenning Li, Manni Liu, and Zhichao Cao.
    WiHF: Gesture and User Recognition with Wi-Fi. TMC 21(2):757-768, (2022).


  • Fall 2020/Spring 2021, 2022, 2023, CSE-220, Programming in C
  • Spring 2020/Fall 2021, 2022, 2023, CSE-891, AIoT: Artificial Intelligence in the Edge
  • Spring 2024, CSE-410, Operating System

Codes and Datasets

  • L2 Implementation in TinyOS.
  • Chase Implementation in TinyOS.
  • NELoRa codes and datasets.
  • CurvingLoRa codes and datasets.
  • PyramidFL codes and datasets.
  • WiSIA: Wi-Fi imagings datasets.


"Nothing endures but change."

- Heraclitus, Greek philosopher (540 BC - 480 BC)