Da Zhi

Email: dzhi at uwo dot ca

profile photo

Bio: I am currently a PhD candidate at the Department of Computer Science in Western University, London, Ontario. I am working with Dr.Jörn Diedrichsen at the Brain and Mind Institute in Western Interdisciplinary Research Building. My PhD research focuses on developing machine learning algorithms to study human brain functional organizations using fMRI data.

I completed my MSc degree at the University of Ottawa advised by Dr. Emil Petriu. During the master's years, I built a human-computer interface powered by machine learning algorithms to teach a robot interacts with human via sign language in real-time. Prior to that, I did my B.Eng in computer science at Tianjin University focused on image processing algorithms (supervisor: Dr. Shiguang Liu).

I am currently looking for postdoc opportunities related to Machine Learning and Neuroimaging starting Fall 2023.

  • 09/2018 – Now
  • Ph.D. in Computer Science

    University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario

    Advisor: Dr.Jörn Diedrichsen

  • 09/2015 – 06/2018
  • M.Sc. in Computer Science

    University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario

    Advisor: Dr. Emil Petriu

  • 09/2011 – 06/2015
  • B.Eng. in Computer Science

    Tianjin University, Tianjin, China

    Advisor: Dr. Shiguang Liu

    Research projects

    I am interested in Machine Learning and Neuroimaging. My research mainly focuses on developing machine learning algorithms to solve neurosicence questions, particular in human brain functional mapping. I'm also interested in developing software applications for neuroimaging studies.

    Distributed learning of brain organization models across functional imaging datasets
    A new probabilistic framework that learns a model of brain organization across numerous fMRI datasets, thereby exploiting their combined strengths
    In progress...
    Evaluating brain parcellations using the distance-controlled boundary coefficient
    Da Zhi, Maedbh King, Carlos R. Hernandez-Castillo, Jörn Diedrichsen
    Human Brain Mapping (2022), 43(12), 3706-3720

    [Project page]   [PDF]   [DCBC Code (GitHub)]
    SUITpy toolbox
    SUITpy toolbox is the python version of SUIT toolbox for analysis of brain imaging data of the human cerebellum. The toolbox contains a high-resolution atlas template of the human cerebellum and brainstem, based on the anatomy of 20 young healthy individuals.
    [Link] [Code (GitHub)]  
    SUIT Cerebellar Atlas Viewer
    SUITPapaya is a html-based viewer of functional and other atlas data for the human cerebellum in SUIT or MNI space, including interactive visualization on the SUIT flatmap. The code is extensively based on the repository rii-mango/Papaya.
    [Link] [Code (GitHub)]   [CTV News]
    Teaching a robot sign language using vision-based hand gesture recognition
    Da Zhi; Thiago E. Alves de Oliveira; Vinicius Prado da Fonseca; Emil M. Petriu
    CIVEMSA, pp.1-6, 2018

    [PDF]   [Code (GitHub)]
    • 10 / 2022  Our cerebellar atlas viewer is now available to load local imaging files! Check out here for more details.

    • 05 / 2022  Presenting our latest work on learning the brain organizations by functional datasets fusion at UWORCS 2022.

    • 04 / 2022  Our paper Evaluating brain parcellations using the distanceā€controlled boundary coefficient is finally out on Human Brain Mapping, Volume 43, Issue 12.

    • 07 / 2021  Our cerebellar atlas viewer is back online now with new features! [here]

    • 05 / 2021  Checkout our new preprint paper "Evaluating brain parcellations using the distanceā€controlled boundary coefficient" available on BioRxiv now!

    • 06 / 2020  Presenting our latest works on cerebellar atlas viewer and brain functional parcellation at OHBM 2022, Montreal. Check out our posters [poster1] and [poster2]

    • 05 / 2020  I have successfully completed the instructor duties of undergraduate course Data Structures and Algorithms for the Winter 2020 term!

    • 10 / 2019  Presenting our latest work on evaluation of brain functional parcellation at SfN 2019, Chicago. [poster]

    • 07 / 2019  The first-ever cerebellar atlas viewer with parallel volume and surface-based display is available now at here!

    • 09 / 2018  Starting my Ph.D studies with Dr.Jörn Diedrichsen at Western University.

    • 05 / 2018  I passed my Master oral defense! Thesis title: "Depth camera-based hand gesture recognition for training a robot to perform sign language"

    (Last Update: Oct 2022)



    University of Western Ontario

    • [CS 2210] Data Structures and Algorithms, Winter 2020, Summer 2021 Instructor
    • [CS 3346] Artificial Intelligence I, Fall 2019, 2020, 2021 Teaching Assistant
    • [CS 4442/9542] Artificial Intelligence II, Winter 2019, 2020, 2021 Teaching Assistant
    • [CS 2035] Data Analysis and Visualization, Winter 2021, 2022 Teaching Assistant
    • [CS 3331] Foundations of Computer Science, Fall 2018 Teaching Assistant
    • [WISC 1001] Integrated Science 1001X, Winter 2022 Teaching Assistant

    University of Ottawa

    • [CSI 4130A] Computer Graphics, Winter 2018 Teaching Assistant


    • Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, 05/2016 — 08/2016 Research Assistant
    • Microsemi, 09/2016 — 12/2016 Validation Engineer (Intern)


    I am a big fan of outdoor activities, especially in hiking and soccer. To date, I have explored and completed over 50 trails in Canada and China. I also served as captain of soccer team of Tianjin University in 2013 and led the team reached provincial semi-final stage.


  • Brainhack Western 2019 and 2020, Western University 10/2019 and 11/2020
  • The IEEE uOttawa Student Branch, University of Ottawa 09/2015 — 04/2016
  • 2015 Canada Army Run, City of Ottawa 09/2015

  • This website takes the template from here.