Associate Professor
Department of Computer Science
Rice University
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I am an Associate Professor in Computer Science at Rice University. With my students and collaborators, we strive to develop automated and interpretable machine learning algorithms and systems to better discover actionable patterns from large-scale, networked, dynamic and sparse data. Our research is motivated by, and contributes to, applications in social informatics, health informatics and information security.

Our work has led to research publications in major academic venues, including ICML, NeurIPS, ICLR, KDD, WWW, IJCAI, etc. An open-source package developed by our group, namely AutoKeras, has become the most used automated deep learning system on Github (with over 8,000 stars and 1,000 forks). Our work on deep collaborative filtering, anomaly detection and knowledge graphs have been included in the TensorFlow package, Apple production system and Bing production system, respectively. Our papers have received several Best Paper (Candidate) awards from venues such as ICML, WWW, WSDM, ICDM, AMIA and INFORMS, and also has been featured in Various News Media, such as MIT Tech Review, ACM TechNews, New Scientist, Fast Company, Economic Times. Our research is generously supported by federal agencies such as DARPA (XAI, D3M and NGS2) and NSF (CAREER, III, SaTC, CRII, S&AS), and industrial sponsors such as Adobe, Apple, Google, LinkedIn and JP Morgan. I was the General Co-Chair for WSDM 2020 and ICHI 2023.

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Honors and Awards

  • Best Student Paper Award, AMIA 2023
  • Best Paper Finalist, Demo Track, CIKM 2023
  • Teaching + Research Excellence Award, Brown School of Engineering, Rice University, 2023
  • Outstanding Paper Award, ICML 2022
  • Best Student Paper Finalist, AMIA 2022
  • Best Paper Award, Demo Track, CIKM 2022
  • ACM SIGKDD Rising Star Award, 2021
  • Best Paper Award Candidate, ICDM 2019
  • Best Poster Award, INFORMS 2019
  • Best Student Paper Award Finalist, INFORMS QSR 2019
  • Best Student Paper Award, IISE QCRE 2019
  • Best Paper Award Shortlist, WWW 2019
  • Adobe Data Science Research Award, 2019
  • JP Morgan AI Research Faculty Award, 2019, 2021
  • Dean of Engineering Excellence Award, Texas A&M University, 2019
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2018
  • TEES Young Faculty Fellow, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, 2018
  • Engineering Genesis Award, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, 2017
  • Best Paper Award, IJCAI BOOM Workshop, 2016
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, Arizona State University, 2015
  • President's Award for Innovation, Arizona State University, 2014
  • Best Paper Award Shortlist, WSDM 2013


I received my PhD from Arizona State University under the supervision of Dr. Huan Liu. I received my Master and Bachelor degrees from Beihang University. Before my current position, I worked as an associate professor at Texas A&M University, a postdoctoral researcher at Arizona State University and Phoenix Veteran Affairs Health Care System, a research intern at Microsoft Research, and a visiting student at National University of Singapore with Dr. Tat-Seng Chua.