Dr Nan Gao is a Postdoc Researcher at Tsinghua University, China.

Currently, I am a Shuimu Scholar postdoc researcher at Pervasive HCI Lab of Tsinghua University, working with A/Prof Chun Yu. I am also a Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia. I am interested in ubiquitous computing, mobile sensing, and human-computer interaction (HCI). In particular, my research specializes in utilising unobtrusive sensing data to infer human behaviours and mental states (e.g., personality, emotion, learning engagement), to help improve self-awareness and promote human well-being.

I completed my PhD in Computer Science at RMIT University in 2022, under the supervision of Prof Flora SalimDr Wei Shao and Dr Mohammad Saiedur Rahaman. I obtained my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT) in 2016 and 2018. I have published my research in top venues (e.g., PACM IMWUT/ UbiComp, Nature Scientific Data), released public datasets In-Gauge and En-Gage, and won the IMWUT Distinguished Paper Award in Ubicomp 2021.



  • [Aug 2023] Great news! I was awarded a grant (¥300k) from the Young Scientists Fund of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Principal Investigator, Grant No. 62302252, 国家自然科学基金青年科学基金).
  • [June 2023] I got the HDR Computing Technologies Prize, awarded by RMIT University STEM College.
  • [June 2023] I was newly awarded a grant (¥80k) by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Principal Investigator, Grant No. 2023M731949, 中国博士后科学基金第73批面上资助).
  • [March 2023] I serve as the TPC member of BuildSys 2023.
  • [March 2023] I serve as the Guest Editor of the Frontiers in Sustainable Cities for the special issue: Trends and Challenges of Ubiquitous Computing in Smart Cities.
  • [Feb 2023] I serve as the Publicity Chair at AIoTSys 2023 (Oct 19-23, 2023).
  • [Dec 2022] Great news! I was selected into the Shuimu Tsinghua Scholar Program (水木学者).
  • [Oct 2022] I serve as the Program Committee Member of IEEE Percom EmotionAware workshop (March 13-17, 2023).
  • [Sep 2022] Great news! I got the DAAD AInet Fellowship.
  • [Aug 2022] Our paper was accepted by IMWUT and will be presented at Ubicomp 2022.
  • [Aug 2022] A BIG DAY! I officially received my PhD and my thesis was publically available. (Download).
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Research Outputs

Released Datasets

The largest and most heterogeneous environmental and affect sensing dataset


  • Heinisch, J.S., Gao, N. (Co-first authors), Anderson, C., Deldari, S., David, K., Salim, F.D., Investigating the Effects of Mood & Usage Behaviour on Notification Response Time. ArXiv Preprint. 



  • 陶建华, 龚江涛, 高楠, 傅四维, 梁山, & 喻纯. (2023). 面向虚实融合的人机交互. 中国图象图形学报, 28(6), 1513-1542. PDF


  • Gao, N., Rahaman, M. S., Shao, W., Ji, K., & Salim, F. D. (2022) Individual and Group-wise Classroom Seating Experience: Effects on Student Engagement in Different Courses. Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies. 6(3), 1–23. [Rank A*, CCF APDF
  • Dong, B., Liu, Y., Mu, W. et al. A Global Building Occupant Behavior Database. Nature Scientific Data 9, 369 (2022). [SJR Q1, IF = 8.501] PDF
  • Gao, N., Marschall, M., Burry, J., Watkins, S., & Salim, F. D. Understanding Occupants’ Behaviour, Engagement, Emotion, and Comfort Indoors with Heterogeneous Sensors and Wearables. Scientific Data (Nature) 9, 261 (2022).  [SJR Q1, IF = 8.501] PDF
  • Gao, N., Xue, H., Shao, W., Zhao, S., Qin, K. K., Prabowo, A., … Salim, F. D. (2022). Generative Adversarial Networks for Spatio-temporal Data: A Survey. ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology,13, 2, Article 22 (April 2022). [SJR Q1, IF = 10.489] PDF


  • Gao, N., Rahaman, M. S., Shao, W., & Salim, F. D. (2021). Investigating the Reliability of Self-report Data in the Wild: The Quest for Ground Truth. In Adjunct Proceedings of the 2021 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing and Proceedings of the 2021 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers (UbiComp ’21), 237–242. [Workshop] PDF
  • Gao, N., Shao, W., Rahaman, M. S., Zhai, J., David, K., & Salim, F. D. (2021). Transfer Learning for Thermal Comfort Prediction in Multiple Cities. Building and Environment, 195, 107725. [SJR Q1, IF = 7.093] PDF


  • Gao, N., Shao, W., Rahaman, M. S., & Salim, F. D. (2020). n-Gage: Predicting in-class Emotional, Behavioural and Cognitive Engagement in the Wild. Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies, 4(3), 1–26. [Rank A*, CCF A, Distinguished Paper Award] PresentationTeaser VideoPDF
  • Kjærgaard, M. B., Ardakanian, O., Carlucci, S., Dong, B., Firth, S. K., Gao, N., … Salim, F. D. (2020). Current Practices and Infrastructure for Open Data based Research on Occupant-centric Design and Operation of Buildings. Building and Environment, 177, 106848. [SJR Q1, IF = 7.093] PDF


  • Li, D., Wang, S., Gao, N., He, Q., & Yang, Y. (2019). Cutting the Unnecessary Long Tail: Cost-Effective Big Data Clustering in the Cloud. IEEE Transactions on Cloud Computing, 1–1. [SJR Q1, IF = 5.679] PDF
  • Gao, N., Shao, W., & Salim, F. D. (2019). Predicting Personality Traits From Physical Activity Intensity. Computer, 52(7), 47–56. [SJR Q1, IF = 4.419] PDF
  • Li, D., Ye, D., Gao, N., & Wang, S. (2019). Service Selection With QoS Correlations in Distributed Service-Based Systems. IEEE Access, 7, 88718–88732. [SJR Q1, IF = 3.476] PDF

For more details, please check my Google Scholar and ResearchGate.


Selected Awards

  • 2023 HDR Computing Technologies Prize, STEM College, RMIT
  • 2022 Tsinghua Shuimu Scholar (Postdoc Fellowship)
  • 2022 DAAD AInet Fellowship
  • 2022 Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad
  • 2021 IMWUT Distinguished Paper Award, Ubicomp
  • 2021 People’s Choice Award, Three Minute Thesis competition, RMIT
  • 2021 Winner of Three Minute Thesis competition, School of Computing Technologies, RMIT
  • 2020 SCT HDR Research Achievement Award, School of Computing Technologies, RMIT
  • 2020 People’s Choice Award in CIDDA Research Day (CRdD’20), RMIT 
  • 2020 Best Presentation in Session 1C and the finalist of best talk award in Ubicomp 2020
  • 2019 Winner of Linfox Fuel Hackathon (Media Report), 5000 AUD Award
  • 2018 Stipend and Tuition Fee Scholarship of RMIT 
  • 2015 Future Stars of Software Scholarship of BIT 
  • 2014 Edifier Scholarship of BIT University
  • 2014 Gold Medal, International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition, Boston, USA
  • 2013 Outstanding Student Cadres Award of BIT



  • 2023 Semester 1: Tutor, Mind, Individual and Culture (10700073), Tsinghua University
  • 2021 Semester 2: Tutor, Foundations of Artificial Intelligence (COSC 2960), CSIT@RMIT
  • 2021 Semester 1: Tutor, Advanced Programming Techniques (COSC1076), CSIT@RMIT
  • 2020 Semester 1: Tutor, User-Centred Design (COSC2628), CSIT@RMIT



  • 2023. Keynote report (of Chinese side) at China-Japan-ROK Youth International Seminar (organised by Chinese Society of Astronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, “Belt and Road” Space Innovation Alliance, China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology). April 23.
  • 2022. Invited talk at Access Computing Summer Program (ACSP, a program sponsored by Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) by the University of Washington and Tsinghua University). August 10.
  • 2022. “Human psychological data acquisition, perception and modelling in real-world scenarios”. Invited talk at Institute for AI Industry Research, Tsinghua University, China. June 16.
  • 2022. “Suggestions for fresh PhD candidates”. Invited talk at the School of Computer Science, Northwestern Polytechnical University (NWPU), China. June 3.
  • 2022. “Human behaviour sensing and modelling in the wild”. Guest lecture at Practical Data Science Course, RMIT University, Australia. May 19.
  • 2022. “Insights about undertaking a research program to new candidates”, Invited panel speaker at the High Degree Research (HDR) orientation, RMIT University, Australia. April 6.





  • Reading: I enjoy reading books from different areas, including but not limited to psychology,  physiology, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, ethics, and science fiction.
  • Backpacking: I was the leader and organiser of the largest outdoor club Fengxinzi at BIT.
  • Writing: I love writing popular science articles, although I often can’t help but mix some chicken soup for the soul :/
  • Believed Quotesknow thyself (know yourself). The saying was one of the Delphic maxims and was inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.




Location: Room 3-526, FIT Building, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China




There is an old saying in China, ‘To Have Friends Come from Afar—Isn’t That a Joy?’ (有朋自远方来,不亦乐乎) If you are interested, we can arrange a meeting to chat casually. I’m ALWAYS open to potential collaboration.