Ben Y. Zhao


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

News in Last 12 Months

Nov 2018: Oakland 2019 paper

on detecting/reverse engineering and cleaning backdoors in DNNs

Nov 2018: NSDI 2020 TPC (heavy)

Oct 2018: SIGCOMM 2019 TPC (heavy)

Sept 2018: APNet 2019 TPC

Sept 2018: ICWSM 2018 Senior PC/Editor

Sept 2018: UChicago Magazine on Data Mind

August 2018: CSCW paper

on zero-incentive location check-ins

July 2018: Congrats to Zhijing for IMC paper

on fault analysis in NFV

June 2018: WWW 2019 Senior TPC

May 2018: WSDM 2019 Senior TPC

May 2018: joint project w/ UCB, Stanford & UIUC funded by DARPA!

on defending social engineering attacks

May 2018: Congrats to Prof. Viswanath!

Bimal accepted offer to join Virginia Tech as Assistant Professor!

May 2018: Congrats to Bolun, Yuanshun and Bimal for USENIX Security paper

on attacks against transfer learning

March 29 2018: On Chicago Tonight

talking about Facebook and data privacy

March 2018: ASPLOS 2018 "Influential Paper Award"

for OceanStore paper, ASPLOS 2000

March 2018: CoNext 2018 TPC

March 2018: on ML/AI panel @NICAR

Feb 27 2018: On Chicago Tonight

talking about advances in AI/ML and misuse

Feb 2018: PETS 2019 TPC

Feb 2018: HotNets 2018 TPC

Feb 2018: Gave keynote on Machine Altered Reality @MIS2/WSDM

Jan 31 2018: I was on Chicago Tonight talking about fake accounts on social networks

Dec 2017: ICWSM 2018 Senior TPC

Nov 2017: PC Chair IMC 2018

Nov 2017: Bolun signs offer from the dark side Facebook. Congrats Bolun!

August 2017: Automated fake reviews using DNNs @CCS!

Congrats to Yuanshun, Bimal and Jenna!

July 2017: ML as a Service paper @IMC!

Congrats to Yuanshun, Zhujun, Bolun, Bimal!

July 2017: ACM TWeb Editorial Board

June 2017: WWW 2018 TPC

June 2017: NSF SybilDevices proposal funded!

June 2017: WSDM 2018 TPC

May 2017: Moving to UChicago!

Accepted offer at UChicago CS Department.

March 2017: Echo chamber & Venmo papers @ICWSM!

Congrats to Shiliang, Xinyi, Qingyun, and Megan!

Feb 2017: 1-device 60G RADAR @MobiSys

Congrats to Yanzi, Yuanshun!

Dec 2016: ML+crowdsourced wireless @WWW

Congrats to Zhijing et al!


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)

Nov 13-15, DARPA PI meeting
May 2, 2019, Boston, Sigcomm TPC

Other Stuff

Google Scholar (~25,000), H-index: 63
Erdos # = 3 (Erdos-M. Saks-K. Hildrum-B. Y. Zhao)
This page, circa 2011

I am Neubauer Professor of Computer Science at University of Chicago. My research covers a range of topics from large-distributed networks and systems, HCI, security and privacy, and wireless / mobile systems, mostly from a data-driven perspective. My current projects are focused on three areas: data-driven models of user behavior/interactions, security of online and mobile communities, and wireless systems and protocols. My work targets a range of top conferences, including WWW/IMC, UsenixSecurity/NDSS/S&P/CCS, CHI/CSCW, and Mobicom/SIGCOMM/NSDI. Here's a wordle of my paper abstracts from 2014-early 2017.

Together with Prof. Heather Zheng, I co-direct the SAND Lab (Systems, 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 National Science Foundation's 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 25,000 citations and an H-index of 63.

Fall 2018: Tu/Th 2:00-3:20PM, Crerar 346, CMSC 30100 (Technical Writing and Presentations)
Clear, logical writing and presentations are foundational skills for computer scientists. This class is meant to introduce computer science students to basic ideas and techniques for effective communication in both writing and presentations. The class will include several complementary components, including critical analysis of technical papers, weekly writing assignments focusing on writing style, clarity, and logical flow, and discussions of style for different research areas and venues. Later weeks will focus on skills for effective technical presentations in different settings, e.g. conference presentations, job talks, and keynotes. The course is primarily targeted towards graduates students, although undergraduates can audit the class (or enroll with permission from the instructor). No prerequisites.
Fall 2018: M/W/F 10:30-11:20AM, RY251, CS 23200/33250 (Computer Security), a redesigned course on computer security co-taught with David Cash and Blase Ur. The 3 of us will cover different subsets of topics in the course: Cash (Crypto fundamentals, key management), Zhao (network security, ML), Ur (web and usable security).

Winter 2019: M/W 2:00-3:20PM, Saieh (SHFE) 021, CS 23280/Econ 23040 (Cryptocurrencies), a new course co-taught with David Cash (CS) and Harald Uhlig (Economics). This course will cover both the computer science aspects and economic aspects of cryptocurrencies. Topics to be discussed will include network and system building blocks, consensus protocols, cryptographic algorithms, security and privacy issues, pricing of cryptocurrencies, bubbles, monetary policy issues and regulatory concerns.
Winter 2019: Tu/Th 11AM-12:20AM, Hinds (HGS) 180CS 34702 (Special Topics/Seminar: Applied Machine Learning). We will cover recent research in applied machine learning and systems, particularly with respect to questions of robustness and resilience against attacks on deep learning systems. Students will present papers, lead discussion, and run open ended projects related to the topic.

A collection of recent news and media coverage of our research is here.

Active data mining/OSN project pages: Clickstream behavior models, Graph Coordinate Systems, Graph Modeling/Generation, Social Network Measurement/Analysis, Detection of Social Spam and Fake Users (Sybils)

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 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. Email me to get on my radar, and mention me (or Heather) in your application. I read all my emails. But due to the volume of these requests, I might not be able to reply to your email.

UChicago Undergraduates interested in research?
I generally advise 1-3 undergraduates in my lab in active research (we have 6 already in 2017-8). If you're interested in working in my lab as an undergrad, drop by my lab at 203A Searle and we'll talk! 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,