Jihuang Ji was born in China’s Jiangsu province. During the Cultural Revolution, her schooling was disrupted and she was sent to the countryside. However, when Deng Xiaoping regained power, she was able to obtain a recommendation and pass the college entrance examination and enroll in Huanzhong University, where she studied Mechanical Engineering and became a professor of computer science. She was sent to the University of Maryland as a visiting scholar by the Chinese government and moved to Austin to work with Dr. Raymond Ye in computer science research. Then, she moved to Houston to obtain a PhD in computer science and eventually became a professor at Sam Houston State University.