Partner Software Engineering Manager, Microsoft

Cha Zhang is a Partner Engineering Manager in the Cloud + AI Group at Microsoft. He was born in China, received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China in 1998 and 2000, respectively, both in Electronic Engineering, and his Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, in 2004.

He currently manages a group of engineers and scientists to develop Microsoft’s OCR and document understanding cloud service. The product recognizes texts in images and scanned documents and provides intelligence in extracting useful information such as key value pairs, tables, and check boxes. It has wide applications such as robotic process automation, digital asset management, accessibility improvement, etc. The service has many customers both internally and externally.

Prior to joining the Cloud + AI Group, he was the engineering and science manager for Microsoft’s open source CNTK deep learning toolkit. CNTK was the primary toolkit for deep learning efforts inside Microsoft and was the key in some of the great advances in technology such as breaking human parity on speech recognition. The toolkit is available on GitHub and used by tens of thousands of deep learning practitioners around the world.

Before that, he was a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research. His primary research area has been multimedia signal processing and multimedia systems, with the emphasis on applying machine learning to various signals including audio, image, video, depth image, etc. He has published more than 150 technical papers and holds more than 50 US patents. He was elevated to IEEE Fellow (class of 2019) “for contributions to machine learning for image and video data processing”.