Cecilia Zhang 张璇儿

Ph.D. Student
Computer Science Department
University of California, Berkeley

Email: cecilia77 at berkeley dot edu     CV:     Github:     Flickr:

[NEWS 10/2019] I will be attending two Rising Star workshops, one in Asia (Seoul), one in North America (UIUC).

I am a CS PhD candidate at UC Berkeley. I do research in computational photography, computer vision and machine learning with Prof. Ren Ng.
------ Houston ---- [1,919.5 mi] ---- Berkeley ------
Prior to Berkeley, I got my B.S. from Rice University with a focus in computer vision and worked with Prof. Ashok Veeraraghavan.

------- Beijing ---- [7,205 mi] ---- Houston -------
I was born and grew up in Beijing, an ancient city on its unique modernization path. I've shot a pile of photographs of my hometown, take a look at my Flickr albums.

Selected Publications ( Full Publications)
Synthetic Defocus and Look-Ahead Autofocus for Casual Videography
SIGGRAPH 2019 SIG 2019 paper figure
Zoom to Learn, Learn to Zoom
CVPR 2019 cvpr 2019 paper figure


berkeley eecs logo Ph.D. Computer Science 2015 -- 2021
UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Thesis Topic: Cinematic Editing for Casual Videos

B.S. Electrical and Computer Engineering 2011 -- 2015 Rice ECE Logo
Rice University, Houston, TX

Summa Cum Laude and Distinction in Research

Mentorship / Teaching Experience

The Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR) Fall 2016 -- present
Graduate Student Mentor: Mentor undergrads from underrepresented groups on career and academic research.

TechX Academy Bootcamp Summer 2019
Instructor: Designed and taught a 10-day course on "Intro to Computer Vision".

Computer Vision for Global Challenges (@CVPR 2019) Summer 2019
Ambassador: Mentored CV4GC awardees to give presentation related to the developing world at CV4GC Workshop.

CS184/284A Computer Graphics & Imaging Fall 2016, Spring 2018
Graduate Student Instructor: Taught weekly discussion sessions.

Industrial Experience

Research Intern, G-cam Summer 2019 Google Logo
Google, Mountain View, CA

Research Intern, Intelligent Systems Lab Summer 2018 Intel Logo
Intel, Santa Clara, CA

Research Intern, Computational Photography Summer 2017 Facebook Logo
Facebook Research, Seattle, WA

Research Intern, Imagination Lab Summer 2016 Adobe Logo
Adobe Research, San Jose, CA


My research aims to build an editing system for casual videos to enable cinematic focus, perceptual image quality and lighting. My goal is to make casual videos, such as the kind taken by personal devices (e.g. smartphones), an effective and ubiquitous visual storytelling form.

I feel truly fortunate to have collaborated with these inspiring people from the industrial research labs (in chronicle order): Vladlen Koltun (Intel), Qifeng Chen (Intel), Kevin Matzen (Facebook), Joon-Young Lee (Adobe), Kalyan Sunkavalli (Adobe) , Zhaowen Wang (Adobe) .

Conference Papers

Synthetic Defocus and Look-Ahead Autofocus for Casual Videography
Xuaner (Cecilia) Zhang, Kevin Matzen, Vivien Nguyen, Dillon Yao, You Zhang, Ren Ng

SIG 2019 paper figure

Zoom to Learn, Learn to Zoom
Xuaner (Cecilia) Zhang, Qifeng Chen, Ren Ng, Vladlen Koltun
CVPR 2019  

cvpr 2019 paper figure

Single Image Reflection Removal with Perceptual Losses
Xuaner (Cecilia) Zhang, Ren Ng, Qifeng Chen
CVPR 2018  

cvpr 2018 paper figure

Photometric stabilization for fast-forward videos
Xuaner (Cecilia) Zhang, Zhaowen Wang, Kalyan Sunkavalli, Joon-Young Lee
PG 2017  

PG 2017 paper figure

Virtual Fitting: real-time garment simulation for online shopping
Xuaner (Cecilia) Zhang, Lam Yuk Wong
CASA 2014  

Conference Posters

Free Your Eyes: Retinal Image Deblurring Display with Enlarged Viewing Zone
Xuaner (Cecilia) Zhang, Jinkyu Kim, Brian Barsky, Laura Waller, Ren Ng
ICCP 2015, Poster  

iccp16 Poster



OpenCV2 @ CUDA 9.0

Hours of battle with OpenCV2 compilation with CUDA 9.0.


CVPR2019 @ Long Beach

8K+ attendees and 1294 papers, I tried hard to sort myself out to enjoy it. It was exhausting, but worthwhile and fun.


Mini Lecture @ Stereoscopic Perception

"Only when no artifacts are visible would stereoscopic imagery be preferred." Our visual system is very demanding about 3D contents.


CVPR2018 @ Salt Lake City

5 days, 979+ papers and 6000+ attendees. While being a bit overwhelmed, I wrote down things I have experienced, learned and reflected.


More Projects (& Pretty Images)

Here are more projects I did for classes and for fun.

Computer Graphics
Below are some projects I've done throughout this graphics course, covering a variety of cool topics such as rasterizing, texture mapping, geometry processing, ray tracing, etc. Please click on each project to view high-res images.

Computational Photography
DeepSketch: Sketch-based 3D shape Retrieval

In this project, we present a system for cross-domain similarity search that helps us with sketch-based 3D shape retrieval. Instead of using hand crafted features for searching, we propose our DeepSketch neural network that is built on Siamese network to learn features that are basis for later similarity search using K-nearest Neighbor (KNN). Here is a report on this project.

The rest ancient, naïve but free ideas
AR Menu

In this project, we built an Android APP for an AR food menu. We place a user-selected food image onto a plate in the real world space with a vision-based estimation of the correct homography. Here is a demo link.

Virtual Drum Kit

Our virtual drum design simulates the experience of playing drums. The system includes: video processing to track the position of the drum stick in real time; audio processing to detect the ‘hit’ moment of the drum stick to generate corresponding drum sounds.

More About Cecilia

Digital Photography --- I love taking photos (click me!), like street-views, nature with symmetry, objects with granularity and people in their most natural mode. Nowadays I'm using Fujifilm XT-20. I believe in the content and moment more than the device. I use photographs to retrieve memories and to capture moments that happen too fast to be seen by our eyes.

Film Photography --- When I do film photography, I put myself in a gray-scale mode to focus on light and shadow, but not colors. I enjoy spending hours in the darkroom. I found it interesting that images often turned out to be different from what you think you captured. I like this feeling of delayed gratification, and a sense of surprise when you see something different from what your brain recorded.

Travel --- As I visit more places, I meet more people, experience more interesting moments and get to take more photos. My favorite places I've visited so far are Bremen, Interlaken and the summer version of Seattle.

Coffee --- I'm a coffee-addict. More precisely, I'm a cafe-addict. It's interesting to discover the "personality" of each cafe, its baristas, its coffee machine preference and the different taste of their 'house coffee'.

Street-wandering --- Street-view tells a lot about a city. If you look at the pictures below without hovering to see their labels, you might already had a reasonable guess about its geo-location. Street-views also connect with the local, and help me understand a city better.

My Significant "Since ..." Moments

Since Rice

I miss Rice often, it's the place where I got to discover my current research interests and met many fellow friends who are now great researchers and talented engineers. I also met my favorite professors who brought me into the field of image processing and computational photography, who guided me to see the interdisciplinary beauty of computation and cameras. Among the campuses I've visited (>20 schools), Rice is the pretties, with no doubt.
Since RDFZ

I spent my 6 years of middle + high school in RDFZ (aka. 人大附中), and had the best three years of my life with class 12. I met some of my most cherished people, lifelong friends and also my significant one. It would forever be a part of my unforgettable memories. We are spread around the world, but would gather together for reunion almost every year even after 7 years of graduation.
Since Yoo

Yoo and me met in high school, we were in the same class (but we actually first met in elementary school but didn't know each other at the time). He just graduated with a MFA in film-making and is now a director. He owns his studio back in China and is pursuing his dream in telling great stories in the format of films to others. Take a look at his SHOWREEL 2017!
Since Sister

米粒儿 joined the family in pure black when she was a few months old. Now she's more mixed gray-ish. She loves chicken flavor snacks, and hates wearing clothes or shoes that we would think look cute on her. She is very smart, all the smart toys or puzzles we bought her would be completely solved and abandoned by her in a day or two. My mom is her favorite, than goes my Dad, and then Yoo and very lastly it's me. I hope I could see her more frequently and let her curl up on my lap.