Ben Y. Zhao


ravenben+w at cs dot uchicago dot edu
Twitter, Facebook, Quora, Linkedin.

News in Last 12 Months

Sept 2020: Finalist: Innovation by Design Award @FastCompany

Bracelet of silence wins runner-up for Best Experimental Design Award @ FastCompany

Aug 2020: WWW 2021 Senior PC

Aug 2020: Lots of press on Fawkes

New York Times, TheVerge, many others here.

Jul 2020: Fawkes software release

Now available as source, binary for 3 platforms (also .dmg/.exe) here. Current release v0.3

May 2020: Fawkes Image Cloaking paper to appear at USENIX Security

Congrats to Shawn and Emily (co-first authors), Jiayun and Huiying!

Apr 2020: Kevin joins ByteDance Labs

as a researcher on adversarial machine learning! Congrats Kevin!!

Apr 2020: SIGCOMM 2021 TPC (late)

Apr 2020: CCS paper on DNN protection via Trapdoors

Congrats to Shawn, Emily, Bolun, and Bo for our paper on honeypots used to protect deep learning models

Mar 2020: CHI 2020 Honorable Mention

Congrats to Jenna, Shiliang et al for Best Paper Honorable Mention Award at CHI 2020 for our paper on Detecting Gender Stereotypes

Mar 2020: CHI 2020 Honorable Mention

Congrats to Yuxin, Huiying, Shan-Yuan et al for Best Paper Honorable Mention Award at CHI 2020 for our paper on Wearable Microphone Jammers

Feb 2020: IEEE S&P 2021 TPC

Feb 2020: NYTimes: Bracelets of Silence

Awesome New York Times article by Kash Hill on our ultrasonic, wearable microphone jammer! Project Page.

Feb 2020: Talks at EdCon

Speaking to 900+ IL judges on AI/ML and the law

Jan 2020: IMC 2020 TPC

Jan 2020: Huiying wins Facebook Fellowship!

Congrats to Huiying Li!

Jan 2020: SciTechDaily article

on our NDSS paper on adversarial location via WiFi reflection

Dec 2019: CHI paper on Wearable Ultrasonic Jammers

Congrats Huiying, Yuxin, Shan-Yuan!

Dec 2019: CHI paper on Gender Bias

Congrats Jenna, Shiliang & Xinyi!

Nov 2019: Distinguished lecture at KAUST

Oct 2019: Huiying gives first talk @CCS!

Oct 2019: Huiying & Emily roadtrip

w/ talk @ Stanford & visit to Berkeley!

Sept 2019: Distinguished lecture at EPFL

Aug 2019: NDSS paper on adversarial sensing

Congrats to Yanzi, Zhujun, Yuxin, Zhijing and Max!

Aug 2019: DARPA grant on evaluating adversarial ML attacks

Aug 2019: NSF grant on spectrum anomaly detection

New project led by Heather


Clickstream modeling code here
Measurement-calibrated graphs here
Embedding graph coordinate systems here

Contact info

Lab: 377 Crerar, Office: 369 Crerar
5730 S. Ellis Ave, University of Chicago
Chicago, IL 60637

Travel/Deadlines (UChicago Calendar)

CFP: Sept 3, Oakland 2021
CFP: October 15, USENIX Security 2021
CFP: December 3, Oakland 2021
CFP: February 4, 2021, USENIX Security 2021

Other Stuff

Google Scholar (~29,000), H-index: 67
Erdos # = 3 (Erdos-M. Saks-K. Hildrum-B. Y. Zhao)
This page, circa 2011

I am a Neubauer Professor of Computer Science at University of Chicago. Over the years, I've followed my own interests in pursuing research problems that I find intellectually interesting and meaningful. That's led me to work on a sequence of areas from P2P networks, online social networks, SDR/open spectrum systems, graph mining and modeling, user behavior analysis, to adversarial machine learning. Since 2016, I've mostly worked on security and privacy problems in machine learning and mobile systems. My meandering interests have led me to publish at a range of top conferences, including Usenix Security/Oakland/CCS, IMC/WWW, CHI/CSCW, and Mobicom/SIGCOMM/NSDI. Here's a wordle of my paper abstracts from 2017-2019.

Together with Prof. Heather Zheng, I co-direct the SAND Lab (Security, Algorithms, Networking and Data) at University of Chicago. I received my PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 2004, where I was advised by John Kubiatowicz and Anthony Joseph, and created the Tapestry distributed hash table (dissertation). I received my MS from Berkeley in 2000, and my BS in computer science from Yale in 1997. I am an ACM Distinguished Scientist, a recipient of the NSF CAREER award (2005), MIT Tech Review's TR-35 Award (Young Innovators Under 35) (2006), IEEE Internet Technical Committee's Early Career Award (2014), and one of ComputerWorld's Top 40 Technology Innovators under 40. My papers have somewhere around 28,000 citations and an H-index of 66 (for whatever that's worth). In some of my "free time," I write about research and PhD life on Quora.

Fall 2020: Tu/Th 1PM-2:20PM, Zoom, CS333 Graduate Computer Networking (Prereq: CMSC 233)
This is a course on computer networking specifically designed for graduate students. The course focuses heavily on research methods, and readings focus on technical publications. Undergraduates interested in learning about networking should only take CS333 if they have already completed CS233 or similar as a prerequisite.

Press/Media: A collection of recent news and media coverage of our research.
Awesome New York Times article (by the great Kashmir Hill) on our Bracelets of Silence, an ultrasonic, wearable microphone jammer for personal privacy! Project Page.

Project Links
Fawkes: image cloaking to foil unauthorized face recognition systems, Code/Paper/Video/Media and News
Neural Cleanse: detecting/mitigating backdoors in DNNs, Code/Paper
Bracelets of Silence: restoring personal audio privacy from ubiquitous audio interfaces, Project/papers/code/video.

I'm always looking for bright PhD students!!
I'm always interested in self-driven/passionate students who want to work on high impact projects and have fun doing it. UChicago is a fantastic place to do a PhD, and we're constantly making improvements to the lab and the department. To find out a bit more about me as an advisor, and my views on everything from students to research and the meaning of life, you can read some of my posts on Quora, where I've been "Top Writer" since 2014. To get on a short list of names Heather and I will look for when reviewing applications, please fill out a basic form. This is better than email. I read all my emails. But due to the volume of emails, I am often unable to reply to individual emails.

If you are looking for a summer undergraduate internship, please do not email me directly. UChicago CS has organized a summer undergraduate internship program with more info here. If you are a high school student or undergraduate looking for a summer internship related to data, you might be interested in the CDAC Data and Computing Summer Lab. SAND Lab is involved in both programs, although the number of interns we take each summer can vary depending on the applicant pool.

UChicago Undergraduates interested in research?
We generally advise 3-5 undergraduates in my lab in active research (we're now quite full for 2020). If you're interested in working in my lab as an undergrad, drop me an email. Generally speaking, the best way to join my lab as an undergrad is to take and do well in my courses in networking or applied ML.