Zicheng Liu received his Ph.D. in computer science from Princeton University in 1996. He got his B.S. degree in mathematics from HuaZhong Normal University, Wuhan, China, in 1984, and his M.S. in Operations Research from the Institute of Applied Mathematics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in 1989. Before joining Microsoft Research, he worked at Silicon Graphics, Inc. as a member of technical staff for two years, where he developed the trimmed NURBS tessellator shipped in both OpenGL and the OpenGL Optimizer.

Current research interests include human activity recognition, 3D face modeling and animation, and multimedia signal processing. He has worked on a variety of topics including Steiner trees, average case complexity, linked figure animation, and trimmed NURBS tessellation for large CAD model visualization.

Liu has served in the technical committee for many international conferences. He was a member of the Audio and Electroacoustics Committee of IEEE Signal Processing Society. He is the chair of the Multimedia Systems and Applications Technical Committee of IEEE CAS society. He is a steering committee member of IEEE Transactions on Multimedia. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Visual Communications and Image Representation, and an associate editor of Machine Vision and Applications.  He served as a guest editor of IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, and a guest editor of IEEE Multimedia Magazine. He is an affiliate professor in the department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington. He was an IEEE distinguished lecturer from 2015-2016. He is a fellow of IEEE.

MSR Action Recognition Datasets and Codes:



Eye-Gaze Tracking for Improved Natural User Interaction

Established: April 12, 2014

We develop novel eye-gaze tracking technologies in order to make eye-gaze tracking technology ubiquitously available for improved natural user interaction (NUI).   In particular, we investigate two approaches: Active IR lighting: We investigate the possibility of using multiple IR lights around a display. The key idea is to use many (more than 4) IR lights distributed around a monitor border. RGB + Depth: We leverage both RGB camera and depth sensor already available in Kinect…

ViiBoard: Vision-enhanced Immersive Interaction with Touch Board

Established: April 11, 2014

ViiBoard uses vision techniques to significantly enhance the user experience on large touch displays (e.g. Microsoft Perceptive Pixel) in two areas: human computer interaction and immersive remote collaboration. Simple Setup ViiBoard uses only an RGBD camera (Microsoft Kinect), mounted on the side of a large touch display, to enhance user interaction and enable 3D immersive collaboration in a desirable form factor, practical for home or office use. Part I: Vision-enhanced Interaction ViiBoard augments the touch…

Who Is Talking To You (WITTY)

Established: August 9, 2003

Mission Statement Exploit multi-sensory information to improve user experience in  •  Speech-centric human computer interaction •  Computer-mediated human inter-communication Goals Understand end-users' requirements Identify sensor(s) requirement Prototype new hardware Develop robust technologies Publications Publication 1: Air-and-Bone Conductive Integrated Microphones for Robust Speech Detection and Enhancement in the IEEE Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding Workshop (ASRU03), November 30 - December 4, 2003. Publication 2: Multi-Sensory Microphones for Robust Speech Detection, Enhancement and Recognition in the IEEE…

Human Action and Activity Recognition

Established: August 9, 2001

Expandable Data-Driven Graphical Modeling of Human Actions Based on Salient Postures. This paper presents a graphical model for learning and recognizing human actions. Specifically, we propose to encode actions in a weighted directed graph, referred to as action graph, where nodes of the graph represent salient postures that are used to characterize the actions and are shared by all actions. The weight between two nodes measures the transitional probability between the two postures represented by…

Face Modeling

Established: May 5, 2001

Overview 3d Modeling. Generating realistic 3D human face models and facial animations has been a persistent challenge in computer vision and graphics. We have developed a system that constructs textured 3D face models from videos with minimal user interaction. Our system takes a video sequence of a face with an ordinary video camera. After five manual clicks on two images to tell the system where the eye corners, nose tip and mouth corners are, the…

























Microsoft Research Action Data Set II (Part 1)

March 2010

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Microsoft Research Action Data Set II (Part 2)

March 2010

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Microsoft Research Action Data Set II (Part 3)

March 2010

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Microsoft Research Action Data Set II (Part 4)

March 2010

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Microsoft Research Action Data Set II (Part 5)

March 2010

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MSR Action Data Set

July 2009

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Conference Leadership

  • Co-chair of the IEEE International Workshop on Multimedia Technologies in E-Learning and Collaboration (Oct. 17, 2003, Nice, France)
  • Program co-chair of 2006 IEEE International Workshop on Multimedia Signal Processing (MMSP-06), Victoria, Canada
  • Media co-chair of 2007 International Conference on Multimedia and Expo (ICME07), Beijing, China
  • Technical Program Co-Chair of 2010 IEEE International conference on Multimedia and Expo (ICME2010), Singapore.
  • General co-chair of 2012 IEEE Visual Communication and Image Processing, San Diego
  • Program co-chair of 2014 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo (ICME 2014).

Technical Committees

Tutorial slides at Face and Gesture 2013

Media Coverage