Ben Zhao is a Neubauer Professor of Computer Science at University of Chicago. Over the years, he’s followed his own interests in pursuing research problems that he finds intellectually interesting and meaningful. That’s led him 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, he’s mostly worked on security and privacy problems in machine learning and mobile systems. His meandering interests have led him to publish at a range of top conferences, including Usenix Security/Oakland/CCS, IMC/WWW, CHI/CSCW, and Mobicom/SIGCOMM/NSDI.
Together with Prof. Heather Zheng, he co-directs the SAND Lab (Security, Algorithms, Networking and Data) at University of Chicago. He received his PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 2004, where he was advised by John Kubiatowicz and Anthony Joseph, and created the Tapestry distributed hash table (dissertation). He received my MS from Berkeley in 2000, and his BS in computer science from Yale in 1997. He is 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. His papers have somewhere around 28,000 citations and an H-index of 66 (for whatever that’s worth). In some of his “free time,” he writes about research and PhD life on Quora.