I’m a junior undergraduate student studying Computer Science in Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU). I’m expected to graduate in 2022.
My real name is Chi Zhang. As the name is too common in Chinese culture, I’m generally referred to as Alex Chi.
In my second year at SJTU, I applied for a research internship. It turned out that the whole experience was a disaster for me. For half a year I had nothing to do, except attending weekly lab meetups. I had no idea of what the team was doing, and what I could do. I suffered a lot, questioning myself, “Am I qualified for this position?” The next semester I quit that team. Only then did I find myself more of an engineer than a researcher.
My past experience focuses on building system software with the Rust programming language, especially storage systems. I built AgateDB during my internship in PingCAP. Also, I love becoming part of the open-source community. Currently I’m a contributor of the TiKV project, and a maintainer at SJTUG mirror. In a nutshell, I build things that interest me, excite me and impact people.
Intern at PingCAP, Inc.
August 2020 ~ January 2021
I built a key-value storage engine AgateDB. Inspired by the WiscKey paper, AgateDB separates large values from the LSM tree into a value log. This design leads to a 10x write speedup on large values, compared with current storage engine used by TiKV. AgateDB is a Rust port of BadgerDB.
Contributor in TiKV Community
May 2020 ~ March 2021
I became part of the TiKV community as a Community Bridge mentee. In Full Chunk-based Computing project, I migrated the TiKV coprocessor to use the TiDB Chunk format during the computation process and added some new features. Then, as community co-leader of the TiKV coprocessor, I mentored on Enum/Set support in TiKV Project and co-mentored on Coprocessor Plugin Project.
TA in PPCA Ray-Tracing Project
July 2020 ~ August 2020
Principle and Practice of Computer Algorithms (PPCA) is a project-oriented course for first-year undergraduates, where they use what they have learned to build a toy application in one month. I mentored 13 students to make a ray-tracer with the Rust programming language.
Maintainer of SJTUG Mirror
May 2019 ~ Now
Shanghai Jiao Tong University Linux User Group (SJTUG) sets up a public mirror of open-source software in China, which serves 70k users and 1.5 million requests per day. I built infrastructure for the new Siyuan mirror server, which enables on-demand mirroring with mirror-intel, enables rsync to simple object storage with mirror-clone and hosts the first Flathub mirror in China.
I enjoy making toy projects. This “learn by doing” process is so much fun. For example, core-os-riscv, a toy operating system based on xv6 in Rust.
You may refer to my GitHub for more information.
The following things are necessary parts of an academic profile, but I don’t think they are meaningful to myself. From my perspective, what I’ve actually done is more important than those scores and awards.
- First 2.5 years GPA: 93.99/100 (Rank: 1/156)
I enjoy studying courses in Computer Science, and I did well in most of them.
- Full-score (100/100) courses
- CS154: C++ Programming Language (Fall 2018)
- CS149: Data Structure (Spring 2019)
- MS125: Principle and Practice of Computer Algorithms (Summer 2019)
- CS241: Principles and Practice of Problem Solving (Fall 2019) [final project + presentation]
- CS307: Operating System (Spring 2020)
- CS356: Operating System Projects (Spring 2020) [final project + presentation]
- CS145: Computer Architecture Experiments (Spring 2020) [final project + report]
- Other A+ courses
- (95/100) CS359: Computer Architecture (Spring 2020)
- (96/100) EI209: Computer Organization (Spring 2020)
- (96/100) CS339: Computer Networks (Fall 2020)
- (95/100) CS236: Cloud Computing (Fall 2020)
- (99/100) CS410: Artificial Intelligence (Fall 2020)
- (99/100) CS467: Theory of Computation (Fall 2020)
Honors and Awards
National Scholarship (Ministry of Education of P.R. China), 2019
I was also qualified for National Scholarship in 2020, but I gave that chance to my classmates. It’s boring to get the same award every year.