Zi grew up in Guangzhou, China and came to the U.S. to receive his A.S. degree from Community College of Philadelphia. He then transferred to Temple University to complete his B.S. in chemistry with a minor in Mathematics. He joined the Laaser lab in 2017, where he is working on mechanochemical activation in self-assembled block copolymers. Outside of lab, he is interested in food, playing video games, and travelling.