Professor Zeyu Zheng is an assistant professor in the IEOR department. He currently teaches IEOR 173, Introduction to Stochastic Processes, and IEOR 174, Simulation for Enterprise-Scale Systems. Professor Zheng grew up in China and studied Mathematics at Peking University. During his time in college, he developed interests in statistics, economics, and operations research, where he could use his mathematical prowess to work out problems with real life applications.
He also played basketball, something he continued to do in graduate school. He moved to the Bay Area in 2012 to attend Stanford University, where he completed a masters in Economics and a PhD in Operations Research. At the end of 2018, he joined the faculty of Berkeley’s IEOR department and has been teaching ever since.
Professor Zheng is interested in the human aspect of academia as seen with his involvement in a lot of student groups. At Stanford, he founded Stanford Quantitative Finance (SQF). He says that research shows the value of collaboration, and that even in quantitatively heavy financial markets, you also need to understand what others are thinking about.
Professor Zheng has a strong background in finance, having worked in quantitative roles for banks and large financial institutions. However, while he was very involved in finance and doing well within the field, he decided that it was not the path he wanted to take. He says that he was very fortunate to receive help from so many people in his life, starting with his parents, and that he felt like he should do the same for others. Professor Zheng says that the single most important thing about his career is teaching.
Outside of teaching, his research focus lies around understanding uncertainties in systems – from healthcare, manufacturing, finance, and more. He’s interested in developing tools to deal with nonstationarity in environments. Professor Zheng believes in the importance of considering human beings in the IEOR department’s research. He says that “a lot of research hasn’t emphasized enough the factor of human beings – they are the key.” The heavy consideration of human factors and the associated implications distinguishes much of the department’s research when compared to neural networks and artificial intelligence.
Recently, Professor Zheng has been getting into skiing and playing Texas Hold’em poker. He also enjoys reading about new trends in society such as robotics and artificial intelligence.