04 January 2023 CSNEWS Department of Computer Science , Faculty , Research

4 January 2023 — Professor Xiao Xiaokui from the Department of Computer Science has been elevated to an IEEE Fellow for his contributions to data privacy and graph data management.

An IEEE Fellow is a prestigious position reserved for select IEEE members who have contributed immensely to the field of engineering, science, and technology. Less than 0.1% of voting members are selected annually for this member grade elevation.  

To address data privacy issues, Xiaokui has been developing algorithmic techniques that mitigate privacy disclosure in the sharing of data. His recent work focused on differential privacy (DP), a rigorous privacy notion that has now become mainstream and adopted by tech giants such as Google and Apple. Together with his students, interns, and collaborators, they devised techniques that aim to enable the usage of DP in important applications such as synthetic data generation, mobile data collection, and private data analysis.

Graph data management was another focus area that he worked on. Processing large amounts of data incur a tremendous cost. To combat this, he and his team worked on a series of graph problems—network embeddings, influence maximization, proximity-based similarities, and graph pattern analysis—to develop solutions that not only significantly outperformed existing methods in terms of empirical running time but also provided non-trivial theoretical guarantees.

Prior to being elevated to an IEEE Fellow, he also received numerous awards for his research. These include the VLDB 2021 Best Research Paper Award, the 2022 ACM SIGMOD Research Highlight Award, and first place in the 2020 NIST Differential Privacy Temporal Map Challenge. Most recently, he was elected an ACM Distinguished Member in 2022.

“I am truly honoured to receive this recognition. I am immensely grateful for the support that I have received from my nominator, collaborators, colleagues, and SOC,” said Xiaokui.