Prof. ZAO Kar-kin, John 邵家健教授

Professor of Practice in Information Engineering (SMIEEE)
Education: BASc, MASc (Toronto); SM, PhD (Harvard)
Research Area: Internet Engineering (IoT & Edge Computing); Wireless Communications and Networking (5G & MEC)
Tel: (852) 3943-8346
Fax: (852) 2603-5032
Address: Rm 714, Ho Sin Hang Engineering Building, CUHK
Email: johnzao [@] ie.cuhk.edu.hk

Research Interests

  • Trusted and Confidential Edge/Fog Computing
  • Cloud Native Computing
  • IoT Applications in eHealth and Smart Living
  • Reactive Brain Computer Interactions (BCI)


Dr. John K. Zao is an expert on Internet of Things, Edge/Fog Computing, and Internet Security. He received his B.A.Sc. (Hon.) degree in Engineering Science and M.A.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Toronto and later S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Harvard University.

Before returning to Asia, Dr. Zao has served as a Senior Member of Technical Staff (1994–1999) and then a Principal Member of Technical Staff (1999–2002) in the Information Security Department of BBN Technologies, the pioneer of packet-switching ARPANet. In 1998–2001, he was also a member of Security Practice Center of GTE Internetworking, the backbone Internet Service Provider behind American On-Line (AOL). During his tenure at BBN, he served as the principal investigator of several US-DARPA funded research projects including Security Architecture for Global Mobile IP Support (MoIPS), Policy Based Security Management (PBSM), Policy Management for Defense Information Assurance Networks (Pledge) and Formal Information Assurance System Modeling (AVDA). Dr. Zao also served as a member of the US Army Task Force XXI Tactical Internet Gray-Beard Panel in 1995–1997 and a security consultant to the Anderson Consulting / BBN ServiceNet E-Commerce initiative in 1996.

After returning to Asia in 2004, Dr. Zao focuses his research on Pervasive Computing and the Internet of Things, especially on their applications in eHealth and Smart Living. With the support from Taiwan National Science Council, he developed the following platforms: Ubiquitous Sensor/Actuator Infrastructure for Adaptive Assistive Living (Project Kannon); Pervasive Telemonitoring and Mobile Healthcare (Project Custos); Heterogeneous Multicasting of H.264 Scalable Video Codes (Project Amnis).

Dr. Zao's work on Pervasive Computing and the Internet of Things led him into the world of Edge/Fog Computing. He joined the OpenFog Consortium (OFC) in February 2016 and become a major contributor to the security sections of the OpenFog Reference Architecture. He then became the founding chairman of the IEEE Standard Working Group on Edge/Fog Computing and Networking Architecture Framework and the founding vice-chairman of the IEEE Standard Committee on Edge/Fog/Cloud Communication with IoT and Big Data in November 2017. Under his leadership, the OpenFog Reference Architecture was approved to become the IEEE Standard 1934™ in June 2018. After the combination of the OpenFog Consortium and the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) in February 2019, Dr. Zao continues his service and becomes the co-chairman of their Security Working Group and Distributed Computing Task Group. He is also a co-chairman of their China Regional Team.

Dr. Zao is also a serial entrepreneur. Before pursuing his doctoral study, he was a founding partner of SecurKey Systems in Weston, Ontario where he led the development of a data encryption modem for EDI transactions based on Diffie-Helman key exchanges. In 2015 and 2016, he co-founded two start-ups: CerebraTek in Hsinchu with Dr. Yi-Pai Huang of the Photonics and Display Department at the National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) and NGoggle in San Diego with Dr. Tzyy-Ping Jung of the Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience (SCCN) at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Together, these two companies pioneered an objective Glaucoma pre-screening and progression monitoring technique based on visual-invoked EEG. In 2018, they received a USA-NIH STTR Phase II grant of US$1.5M and signed an agreement with Heidelberg Engineering in Germany to develop new ophthalmic instruments based on this technique. Then in 2019, Dr. Zao and Dr. Hank Huang of the NCTU Electronic Engineering Department received a kick-start grant of TW$28M from Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology to develop Trusted and Confidential Edge Computing software for 5G and IoT platforms. In the subsequent year, they founded FiduciaEdge Technologies in Hsinchu to provide Cloud Native Trusted Edge Computing solutions and develop the information security infrastructure for the 5G Smart Poles.

Recent Selected Publications

  • John K. Zao*, Tchin-Tze Gan, Chun-Kai You, Cheng-En Chung, Yu-Te Wang, Sergio José Rodríguez Méndez, Tim Mullen, Chieh Yu, Christian Kothe, Ching-Teng Hsiao, Samuel Chu, Ce-Kuen Shieh, Tzyy-Ping Jung. "Pervasive Brain Monitoring and Data Sharing based on Multi-tier Distributed Computing and Linked Data Technology." Frontier in Human Neuro­science, Special Topic on Modeling Natural Brain Dynamics, June 3, 2014.
  • John K. Zao*, Tzyy-Ping Jung*, Hung-Ming Chang, Tchin-Tze Gan, Yu-Te Wang, Wen-Hao Liu, Yuan-Pin Lin, Guang-Yu Zheng, Chin-Kuo Lin, Chia-Hung Lin, Yu-Yi Chien, Fang-Cheng Lin, Yi-Pai Huang, Sergio José Rodríguez Méndez, Felipe A. Medeiros. "Augmenting VR/AR Applications with EEG/EOG Monitoring and Oculo-Vestibular Recoupling". The 10th International Conference on Augmented Cognition (AugCog 2016) under HCII 2016, Toronto, Canada, July 17‒22, 2016.
  • Chien, Yu-Yi, Fang-Cheng Lin*, John K. Zao*, Ching-Chi Chou, Yi-Pai Huang, Heng-Yuan Kuo, Yijun Wang, Tzyy-Ping Jung, and Han-Ping D. Shieh. "Polychromatic SSVEP stimuli with subtle flickering adapted to brain-display interactions." Journal of Neural Engineering 14(1):016018, 2017.
  • Nakanishi M, Wang Y, Jung T, Zao JK, Chien Y, Diniz-Filho A, Daga FB, Lin Y, Wang Y, Medeiros FA*. "Detecting Glaucoma with a Portable Brain-Computer Interface for Objective Assessment of Visual Function Loss". JAMA Ophthalmology Published online April 27, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2017.0738.
  • Méndez, Sergio José Rodríguez*, and John K. Zao. "BCI Ontology: A Context-based Sense and Actuation Model for Brain-Computer Interactions." SSN@ ISWC. 2018.
  • Bridget Martin, Frank Michaud, Don Banks, Arsalan Mosenia, Riaz Zolfonoon, Susanto Irwan, Sven Schrecker, and John K. Zao*. "OpenFog Security Requirements and Approaches." Invited Paper, Fog World Congress, October 30 – November 1, 2017, and Special Issue on Fog Computing, IEEE Communication Society, 2018.
  • John K. Zao (Chair), Tao Zhang, Jingyi Zhou (Vice Chairs). "IEEE 1934-2018: IEEE Standard for Adoption of OpenFog Reference Architecture for Fog Computing." IEEE Standards Association, 2018.