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Dr. Zilu

Liang

 

Associate Professor

Director, Ubiquitous and Personal Computing Lab

Faculty of Engineering

Kyoto University of Advanced Science (KUAS), Japan

Check out our lab website for more information of on-going research projects!

Research areas: ubiquitous computing, wearable computing, personal informatics, digital health (sleep, stress, circadian rhythm)

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Chichén Itzá 

Yucatán, México

WHO AM I ?

I received my MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering and Information Systems from the University of Tokyo in 2011 and 2015 respectively. I pursued exchange studies at the University of Oxford in 2010 and at the Imperial College London (with Prof John Polak) in 2012. In 2015 I was selected as a recipient of the Australian Government Endeavor Research Fellowship which sponsored my postdoctoral research at the University of Melbourne (with Prof James BaileyProf Lars Kulik and Dr Bernd Ploderer). During 2016-2019 I was an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Engineering of the University of Tokyo, where I was intensively involved in implementing several initiatives of internationalizing engineering education. I'm a member of a number of research associations and I received several awards for my research achievements.

 

I'm an avid supporter of the Quantified Self movement. I combine a wide variety of sensing, computing, and data mining techniques to tackle the challenges surrounding data collection, data analysis, and human-computer interaction in the Quantified Self, with a strong focus on health and wellbeing. In 2020 I founded and has since then led the Ubiquitous Computing and Personal Informatics Lab at KUAS. My research projects have been sponsored by JSPS and AMED. I have close collaborations with the Queensland University of Technology in Australia. I'm also a regular reviewer for a number of international journals and conferences. I'm looking forward to involving highly-motivated students in several exciting on-going research projects.

 

Growing up in a family of teachers, I have a natural passion for teaching. I hold a teaching certificate from the University of Melbourne and an English medium instruction (EMI) certificate from the University of Tokyo. In line with the ISTE standard by the International Society for Technology in Education, my mission is to prepare students to thrive in the Innovation Age by teaching them to think at three levels: WHAT (what is the basic concept?), SO WHAT (what is its relevance and what is it related to?), NOW WHAT (what can I do with what I have learned to find solutions to unmet needs?). ​I combine a variety of learning technologies in my class to help students develop the key competences for 21st-century learners, aka. the ”Four Cs”: Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Collaboration. I'm also committed to educational research surrounding learning design for integrating technology and incorporating the 4Cs. Since 2018, I've been serving as a program committee member and a reviewer for top notch international conferences on engineering and computing education. I'm a member of several educational research societies.   

 

I treasure physical strength and self-discipline. When I'm not researching or teaching, you can find me doing HIIT (Les Mills), barbell training, kick boxing, Pilates, yoga (Bikram) to maintain a metabolic profile at the pro-athlete level. I received 10 years of training in Taekwondo, Chinese martial art and Shotokan Karate. I'm following a Paleo diet with time-restricted feeding and I'm strongly against sugar and artificial sweeteners. 

NEWS

[Outreach] 17 July 2024. Open Lab

We hosted an open lab event for visitors from our industrial partners.​​

[Award] 30 June 2024. 2024 IEEE CIS Student Grand Competition @ Yokohama, Japan

​​Our PhD student Mr. Yapa Prasan won an Honorable Mention Award at the 2024 IEEE CIS Student Grand Competition in Computational Intelligence in Biomedicine and Healthcare, with the following project Vishadha: Early Smart Depression Detector.

 

[Journal] 3 June 2024. Frontiers in Education

Our following paper was accepted by Frontiers in Education - Higher Education, indexed by SCI and Scopus.

[Program Committee] 31 May 2024. CHI 2025 @ Yokohama, Japan

​​I was invited to serve as an Associate Chair (AC) for the ACM CHI 2025 (Subcommittee: Health), a premier conference in the field of human-computer interaction.

[Conference] 27 Sep 2024. CCBDIoT2024 @ Chengdu, China

​​We will make the following presentation at 3rd International Conference on Computing, Big Data and Internet of Things.

  • Liang Z. (2024) Computational Modeling for Effective Sleep Apnea Screening with Consumer Wearable Devices .

[Conference] 13 Sep 2024. BDCI 2024 @ Kyoto, Japan

​​We will make the following presentation at the 4th International Conference on Big Data and Computational Intelligence. 

  • Franca Carvalho C, Liang Z. (2024) Glucose Prediction with Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) Models.

  • Karunarathna ST, Liang Z. (2024) Glucose Estimation Models for Diabetes and Their Utility on Healthy Individuals.

[Conference] 13 Sep 2024. WSSE 2024 @ Kyoto, Japan

​​We will make the following presentation at the 6th World Symposium on Software Engineering.

  • Khotchasing K, Hoang HN, Liang Z. (2024) A Human-Computer Interaction Study of Smartwatch Application for Promoting Healthy Lifestyle.

[Conference] 24 July 2024. NEURO 2024 @ Fukuoka, Japan

​​We will make the following presentation at NEURO2024, the joint meeting of the 47th Annual Meeting of the Japan Neuroscience Society (JNS), the 67th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society for Neurochemistry (JSN), the 46th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Biological Psychiatry (JSBP), and the 8th Federation of Asian-Oceanian Neuroscience Societies (FAONS) Congress.

  • Saskovets M, Liang Z, Piumarta I. (2024) The Effect of Soothing Human Voice on the Stress Response.

[Conference] 30 June 2024. IEEE IJCNN 2024 @ Yokohama, Japan

​​Our following submission will be published in the Proceedings of The International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN).

  • Yapa H. P. P. P., Liang Z, Piumarta I. (2024) ProDepDet: Out-Of-Domain Knowledge Transfer of Pre-Trained Large Language Models for Depression Detection in Text-Based Multi-Party Conversations.

[Conference] 7 June 2024. ACM BTIW 2024 @ Tokyo, Japan

​​Our following submission was published in the Proceedings of The 2nd Behavior Transformation by IoT International Workshop (BTIW 2024).

[Outreach] 6 June 2024. Open Lab

We hosted an open lab event for high school visitors from Vietnam.​​

[Outreach] 29 May 2024. Open Lab

We hosted an open lab event for high school visitors from Indonesia.​​

[Journal] 28 May 2024. Frontiers in Digital Health

Our following paper was accepted by Frontiers in Digital Health - Digital Mental Health, indexed by PubMed, SCI, and Scopus.

[Outreach] 27 May 2024. Open Lab

We hosted an open lab event for visitors from Brazil, SEMESP.​​

[Outreach] 13 May 2024. Open Lab

We hosted an open lab event for undergraduate visiting students from Ohio State University.​​

[Journal] 2 May 2024. JMIR Research Protocols

Our following paper was accepted by JMIR Research Protocols, indexed by PubMed, SCI, and Scopus.

[Outreach] 10 April 2024. Open Lab

We hosted an open lab event for high school visitors from Thailand.​​

[Journal] 28 March 2024. Frontiers in Digital Health

Our following paper was accepted by Frontiers in Digital Health - Human Factors and Digital Health, indexed by PubMed, SCI, and Scopus.

[Conference] 18 March 2024. ICIET 2024 @ Yamaguchi, Japan

​​We presented the following paper at the 12th International Conference on Information and Education Technology.

  • Liang Z. (2024) Analysis of Students’ Response Time and Performance in Kahoot! Quiz Games in a University Engineering Course.

[Outreach] 14 March 2024.  夢ナビ講義Video 

I provided a lecture entitled "薬ではない“薬”~デジタル健康の最前線~(“Medicine” that is not a medicine ~frontiers of digital health~ )" on YumeNavi video stream platform to promote our research among high school students.

[Conference] 6 March 2024. IEICE General Conference 2024 @ Hiroshima, Japan

Our following short papers will be published in the Proceedings of the 2024 General Conference of the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers.

  • Kosasih K. K., Liang Z. (2024) Predicting heart rate from pupillometric data.

[Conference] 23 Feb 2024. HEALTHINF 2024 @ Rome, Italy

​​Our following papers will be published in the Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Health Informatics (HEALTHINF 2024), indexed by Scopus.)

  • Hoang HN, Liang Z. (2024) Apnea hypopnea index estimation from low-granularity overnight oxymetry data.

  • Hoang HN, Khotchasing K, Melcer E, Liang Z. (2024) Serious gamification app for improving sleep-wake cycle and sleep education.

[Invited Talk] 18 Feb 2024. National Electronic & Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), Thailand.

​​I was invited to give a talk at the Language & Semantic Technology Research Team (LST), Artificial Intelligence Research Unit (AINRU), National Electronic & Computer Technology Center (NECTEC), Thailand. 

  • From smartwatches to social network services: digitalize health with ubiquitous and personal computing technologies.

[Review] 23 Jan 2024. Humanities & Social Sciences Communications 

I was invited to review papers for the Springer Humanities & Social Sciences Communications.

[Outreach] 18 Jan 2024. University Guidebook 2025

Our research was featured in the 2025 university guidebook. 

[Program Committee] 17 Jan 2024. IEEE EDUCON 2024

I was invited to join the program committee of the 2024 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference. 

[Conference] 16 Jan 2024. CHI 2024 PC Meeting  

I participated the ACM CHI 2024 Program Committee meeting as an Associate Chair of the HEALTH subcommittee. 

[Outreach] 15 Jan 2024. MS&AD Digital College from Kyoto 

I gave a lecture on data analytics for wearable technology in the MS&AD Digital College from Kyoto, a customized employee training and development program for the MS&AD Insurance Group.

[Outreach] 13 Jan 2024. Interactive Webinar

I provided a demo lecture on app development based on OpenAI in an webinar for Indian students, co-organized by KUAS and Education Japan.

[Outreach] 10 Jan 2024. Open Lab

We hosted an open lab event for visitors from our industrial collaborators.​​

[Program Committee] 1 Jan 2024. IEEE CSEE&T 2024

I was invited to join the program committee of the 36th Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training (CSEE&T). 

[Conference] 13 Dec 2023. ASSM 2023 @ Bangkok, Thailand

​​We following submissions were presented at the 4th Sleep Congress of Asian Society of Sleep (ASSM 2023).

  • Liang Z, Yahya KN, Setiawan EN, Kasan JA, Firdauzi MO. (2023) FunAlarm: Gamification-Based Smartphone Alarm Application for Reducing Wakeup Delay.

  • Hoang HN, Liang Z. (2023) Shallow and Deep Learning Models for Detecting Apnea Events in Stroke Patients.

  • Khotchasing K, Liang Z. (2023) A Pilot Study into the Feasibility of Utilizing Contagious Yawning to improve Sleep Quality.

[Conference] 6 Dec 2023. IEEE ICCE 2023 @ Matsue, Japan

​​Our following paper was published in the Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Computers in Education (ICCE 2023), indexed by Scopus. (ICCE)

  • Liang Z. (2023) Enhancing Learning Experience in University Engineering Classes with Kahoot! Quiz Games.

[Conference] 30 Nov 2023. IEEE ICMU 2023 @ Kyoto, Japan

​​Our following paper was published in the Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Mobile Computing and Ubiquitous Networking, indexed by Scopus.

  • Liang Z. (2023) Effect of Decision Boundary for Logistic Regression Classifiers on Sleep Apnea Screening Accuracy with Wearable SpO2 Data. 

[Conference] 30 Nov 2023. IEEE TALE 2023 @ Auckland, New Zealand

​​Our following paper was published in the Proceedings of the 2023 International Conference on Teaching, Assessment and Learning for Engineering (TALE 2023), indexed by Web of Science and Scopus. 

  • Liang Z. (2023) Comparing Attitudes Towards Mobile App Development between International Students and Domestic Japanese Students. 

[Outreach] 22 Nov 2023. Co-design Workshop (Phase-II)

We organized a co-design workshop Gamified Smartwatch for Sleep Health Workshop, which was facilitated by Prof. Edward Melcer and was attended by 47 students. This workshop was a follow-up of the three co-design workshops that we had during the summer and fall of 2023 and aimed to further explore the interdisciplinary research field at the intersection of gamification, digital health, and human-computer interaction. In this workshop, participants were tasked with a series of fun activities, including providing feedback on the current prototypes developed by the research team, exploring new interaction forms of smartwatch applications, brainstorming new features for the gamified smartwatch apps, and even exploring the game player traits of the participants themselves. It was a ton of fun and full of positive vibes. We are grateful to all participants, student assistants, and Prof. Melcer for co-creating this amazing experience, and look forward to having everyone again in our future workshops. This project is supported by the KUAS Overseas Collaboration Grant 2023. 

[Conference] 15 Nov 2023. ECSA2023 @ Cyberspace

​​We following submissions were published in the Proceedings of the 10th International Electronic Conference on Sensors and Applications (ECSA2023).

[Outreach] 15 Nov 2023. Open Lab

We hosted an open lab event for undergraduate students.​​

[Conference] 15 Nov 2023. WEBIST 2023 @ Rome, Italy

​​Our following paper were published in the Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Web Information Systems and Technologies (WEBIST 2023), indexed by Scopus. This submission won the Best Paper Award.

  • Yapa H. P. P. P., Liang Z, Piumarta I. (2023)  Who Says What (WSW): A Novel Model for Utterance-Aware Speaker Identification in Text-Based Multi-Party Conversations

[Conference] 15 Nov 2023. CHIRA 2023 @ Rome, Italy

​​Our following paper were published in the Proceedings of 7th the International Conference on Computer-Human Interaction Research and Applications (CHIRA 2023), indexed by Scopus.

  • Del Valle A, Liang Z, Piumarta I. (2023)  A bi-national investigation of the needs of visually disabled people from Mexico and Japan.

[Outreach]  21 Oct 2023. Halloween Costume Contest

I served as a judge for the KUAS Halloween Costume Contest. It was tons of fun! 

[Journal] 16 Oct 2023. Digital Health

Our following paper was accepted by Digital Health (Q1), indexed by PubMed, SCI, and Scopus.

[Conference] 10 Oct 2023. IEEE GCCE 2023 @ Nara, Japan

​​Our following paper were published in the Proceedings of the 12th Global Conference on Consumer Electronics (GCCE 2023), indexed by Scopus.

  • Liang Z. (2023) Developing Sleep Apnea Screening Models Compatible With Low-Resolution SpO2 Data

  • Jayen H, Lukovnikova A, Nhung HH, Liang Z. (2023) Mining Contrast Rules in a Sleep Apnea Dataset

[Conference] 22 Sep 2023. ARTscientific 2023 @ Bangkok, Thailand

We gave the following presentations at the 2023 International Artinis (f)NIRS Symposium

  • Liang Z, Saskovets M. (2023) Investigating Subjective-Objective Sleep Discrepancy with Consumer Sleep Tracking and Wearable fNIRS Technologies

  • Saskovets M, Liang Z. (2023) Validation of a New Stress Induction Protocol using Speech Improvisation in Front of Audience: an fNIRS Pilot Study

[Conference] 15 Sep 2023. The 48th Annual Meeting of Japanese Society of Sleep Research @ Yokohama, Japan

Our following submissions were presented at the 48th Annual Meeting of Japanese Society of Sleep Research. 

  • Liang Z. (2023) Machine Learning based Sleep Apnea Screening with Overnight SpO2 Recordings. 

  • Nhung HH, Jayen H, Lukovnikova A, Liang Z. (2023) Beyond Statistical Analysis: Identifying Meaningful Patterns in Sleep Apnea Dataset using Contrast Set Mining. 

  • Khotchasing K, Nhung HH, Liang Z. (2023) Design and Development of Gamification mHealth Application for Sleep Hygiene Intervention.

[Conference] 15 Sep 2023. IEICE Society Conference 2023 @ Nagoya, Japan

Our following short papers were published in the Proceedings of the 2023 Society Conference of the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers.

  • Sirithummarak P., Liang Z. (2023) Developing a Cross-Platform Application for Health Data Integration from Multiple Wearable Sensors.

[Outreach] 1 Sep 2023. Research Talk 

Prof. Hiroyuki Mitsuhara (University of Tokushima) and Prof. Hisashi Hatakeyama (Tokyo Institute of Technology) visited our lab and introduced their research projects on disaster training education.

[Outreach] 22 Aug 2023. Co-design Workshop (Phase-I)

We organized a co-design workshop to prototype a smartwatch serious games app for sleep health. The workshop was coordinated by Prof. Edward Melcer and Dr. Liang. Thank you everyone for your participation! It was a blast. 

[Outreach] 21 Aug 2023. Ubicomp Lab Research Talk Series

Prof. Edward Melcer (University of California, Santa Cruz) gave a talk "Building Better Serious Games: Novel Approaches to Learning and Assessment" in our Ubicomp Lab Research Talk Series.

[Conference] 31 Aug 2023. IEEE CollabTech 2023 @ Osaka, Japan

​​Our following paper was published in the Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Collaboration Technologies and Social Computing (CollabTech 2023), indexed by Scopus.

  • Yapa H. P. P. P., Liang Z, Piumarta I. (2023) HelaDepDet: A Novel Multi-Class Classification Model for Detecting the Severity of Human Depression

[Conference] 9 Aug 2023. IEEE CSEE&T 2023 @ Tokyo

​​Our following paper was published in the Proceedings of the 35th IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training (CSEE&T 2023), indexed by DBLP and Scopus.

  • Liang Z, Piumarta I. (2023) An Experience Report on English Medium Instruction (EMI) based Computing Education in a Faculty of Engineering in Japan

[Outreach] 6 Aug 2023. Demo Lecture

I provided a demo lecture on app development based on ChatGPT in KUAS Open Campus.

[Outreach] 9 July 2023. Interactive Webinar

I provided a demo lecture on app development based on ChatGPT in an webinar for Indian students, co-organized by KUAS and Education Japan.

[Outreach] 9 July 2023. Open Campus

Our lab showcased our research projects in the open campus event.

[Invited Talk] 5 July 2023. KUAS Research Network Symposium 2023 @ Kyoto, Japan

​​I was invited to give a talk at the KUAS Research Network Symposium

  • From Serious Games to Wearables: Supporting People with Developmental Disorders with AI-Empowered Ubiquitous Computing Technologies

[Journal] 6 June 2023. JMIR mHealth and uHealth

Our following paper was published in JMIR mHealth and uHealth (Q1), indexed by PubMed, SCI, and Scopus.

[Program Committee] 2 June 2023. CHI 2024 @ Hawaii, USA

​​I was invited to serve as an Associate Chair (AC) for the ACM CHI 2024 (Subcommittee: Health), a top conference in the field of human-computer interaction.

[Grant] 11 May 2023. KUAS Overseas Collaboration Research Grant 

Our following research proposal was accepted by the KUAS Overseas Collaboration Research Grant (PI: Dr. Zilu Liang, overseas collaborator: Dr. Edward Melcer / University of California, Santa Cruz, 2023-2024). 

  • When Smartwatch Meets Serious Games: Towards a New Paradigm of swHealth (SmartWatch Health) for Improving Sleep Hygiene

[Grant] 1 April 2023. JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B)/科研費基盤(B)

Our following research proposal was accepted by the JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) (PI: Prof. Hiroyuki Mitsuhara/University of Tokushima, Co-PIs: Prof. Hisashi Hatakeyama/Tokyo Institute of Technology, Dr. Kaede Kido/Nara Medical University, Dr. Zilu Liang, 2023-2028).  

  • 仮想と現実を密にリンクする避難訓練XRシステム (XR-based Evacuation Training Systems with Close Link Between Real and Virtual Environments) 

[Conference] 10 May 2023. ICMHI 2023 @ Kyoto

​​Our following paper was published in the Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Medical and Health Informatics, indexed by Scopus.

  • Liang Z. (2023) Multiscale attention entropy (MSAE) of overnight pulse oximetry for assessing sleep apnea.

[Program Committee] 27 April 2023. IEEE TALE 2023

I was invited to join the program committee of the 2023 IEEE International Conference on on Teaching, Assessment and Learning for Engineering. 

[Outreach] 13 March 2023. Demo Lecture @ KUASE

I provided a demo lecture to high school girls from the Notre Dame High School. 

[Conference] 6 March 2023. IEICE General Conference 2023 @ Oomiya, Japan

​​Our following short papers were published in the Proceedings of the 2023 General Conference of the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers.

  • Nhung H. H., Liang Z. (2023) Identifying Patterns in Continuous Glucose Monitoring Data using Contrast Set Mining.

  • Liang Z. (2023) Gamifying Digital Signal Processing Learning with Kahoot! Quiz.

[Conference] 23 Feb 2023. HEALTHINF 2023 @ Lisbon, Portugal

​​Our following paper were published in the Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Health Informatics, indexed by Scopus.

[Program Committee] 16 Feb 2023. ICMHI 2023

I was invited to join the program committee of the 7th International Conference on Medical and Health Informatics (ICMHI 2023).

...[Omitted]...

[Experiment] 27 Jul 2015. Study Participants Wanted ($25 voucher/interview)

Do you have a Fitbit? Are you using Fitbit to track your sleep and lifestyle data like steps walked, exercise or diet? We are building a new web app to help you analyse how your lifestyle affects your sleep. We are looking for Fitbit users to try out the app over 2 weeks and to comment on it in interviews at the start and at the end of the study (1 hour per interview). Volunteers will receive a $25 book/iTunes voucher per interview. HREC #1339336. Register interest at http://go.unimelb.edu.au/39qn or get in touch with Zilu Liang (zilu.liang@unimelb.edu.au).

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