Harry H. Cheng, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago, 1989

Research Interest

Robotics, intelligent networked mechatronic and embedded systems, innovative design for 3D printing, technology in teaching and learning, hands-on math education, and integrated computing and STEM education.

Short Biography

Dr. Harry H. Cheng is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Graduate Group in Computer Science, and Graduate Group in Education, and Director of the Integration Engineering Lab at UC Davis. He founded and directs the UC Davis Center for Integrated Computing and STEM Education (C-STEM). C-STEM is now a UC Approved Educational Preparation Program for Undergraduate Admission for all UC campuses. C-STEM also has UCOP A-G Program Status with 17 high school courses, including four honor math courses, for preparing students for admission to the University of California and California State University. Over the last decade, he has pioneered the work on systemically integrating computing and robotics into formal math education from transitional kindergarten to 12th grade. He and his team have organized the Annual Conference on Integrated Computing and STEM Education since 2011 and Annual C-STEM Symposium since 2020. His team has also organized the annual RoboPlay Competition, a level-playing field robotics competition, for students in grades 5 to 12 in different regions since 2011. In addition, he and his team have organized GIRL (Girls in Robotics Leadership) and GIRL+ Camps in different regions since 2013. The 1-week GIRL and GIRL+ Summer Camps motivate girls in middle and high schools, through peer mentoring by female college students, to learn leadership and STEM concepts through a fun and exciting robotics curriculum. His work on C-STEM has profoundly changed lives of many young men and women, especially students from the underrepresented groups who were struggling with math previously. Dr. Cheng is an internationally recognized leader in robotics and mechatronics fields. He has contributed to the development of the latest C standard called C99 through his implementation of new features in a C/C++ interpreter Ch and ANSI/ISO C Standard Committees. He has authored and co-authored more than 190 papers in refereed journals and conference proceedings. He has authored 12 textbooks, of which 10 are for K-12 students learning math, CS, and STEAM with coding and robotics. He holds two U.S. patents. He received a M.S. degree in mathematics and a Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1986 and 1989, respectively. He has taught computer programming, robotics, and engineering software design at UC Davis since 1992. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and a Senior Member of IEEE. Throughout his career, Dr. Cheng received many awards, including the inaugural UC Davis Chancellor's Innovator of the Year award in 2016, the 2015 Distinguished Scholarly Public Serve Award from UC Davis Academic Senate, and the 2013 MESA Achievement Award for a cumulative contribution to the field of Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications (MESA) from the ASME.

Honors and Awards

Recent Major Grants

The UC Davis Chancellor's Innovator of the Year award, 2016

Professional Membership

Publication of Books

Publications of Articles

Dr. Cheng has published over 180 articles in journals, conference proceedings, and book chapters.



I started my career in computing using computers with punch cards. Now, my computing interests are high-level script computing and mobile agent-based computing. My white paper on Ten Reasons to Teach and Learn Computer Programming in C.

In the News


Phone : (530) 752-5020
Fax: (530) 752-4158
Email: hhcheng (at) ucdavis.edu
Office : 2018 Bainer Hall
Integration Engineering Lab: 1067 Bainer Hall
Mail: Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UC Davis, Davis, CA 95616