Assistant Professor
Department of Information Science and Technology
Department of Computer Science
George Mason University

Research Interests

  • Deep learning on graphs
  • Societal event prediction
  • Interpretable machine learning
  • Spatio-temporal data mining
  • Sparse feature learning
  • Social media mining
  • Nonconvex Optimization


  • Liang Zhao

    Dr. Liang Zhao is an assistant professor at the Department of Information Science and Technology at George Mason University. He is also affiliated with Department of Computer Science at GMU. He obtained his PhD degree in 2016 from Computer Science Department at Virginia Tech in the United States. His research interests include data mining, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, with special interests in spatiotemporal and network data mining, deep learning on graphs, nonconvex optimization, and interpretable machine learning.

    He has published over 70 peer-reviewed full research papers in top-tier conferences and journals such as KDD, ICDM, TKDE, Proceedings of the IEEE, TKDD, TSAS, IJCAI, AAAI, WWW, CIKM, SIGSPATIAL, and SDM. He won NSF CAREER Award in 2020. He has also won Jeffress Trust Award in 2019, Outstanding Doctoral Student in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech in 2017, NSF CRII Award in 2018, and was ranked as one of the "Top 20 Rising Star in Data Mining" by Microsoft Search in 2016. He has won best papers in top-tier venues such as Best Paper Award in ICDM 2019. He has been organizing several prestigious venues such as KDD 2019, ACM SIGSPATIAL 2020, ICDM 2019, CIKM 2019, SecureCom 2020, and SSTD 2017. He is co-chairing workshops such as GeoAI 2019 co-located with SIGSPATIAL 2019 and DeepSpatial 2019 co-located with ICDM 2019.

    There are several funded RA positions in Spring and Fall 2021, students interested in PhD of CS are encouraged to contact me: lzhao9@gmu.edu.



    News

    [2020-07]
    Our Comprehensive Survey Paper "Event Prediction in the Big Data Era: A Systematic Survey" is online now!
    [2020-07]
    [2020-07]
    I am grateful for receiving a research grant ($498K) from NSF on the project "DeepJIMU: Model-Parallelism Infrastructure for Large-scale Deep Learning by Gradient-Free Optimization"!
    [2020-07]
    I am grateful for receiving a research grant ($510K) from Knowledge Design Company on the project "Secure Model and Learning protected Hardware Design"!
    [2020-07]
    The student Qingzhe Li has passed his final defense. Congratulations, Dr. Li!
    [2020-06]
    [2020-05]
    KDD paper got accepted and reported in news media.
    [2020-04]
    I am the Publicity Chair of ACM SIGSPATIAL 2020. Look forward to your submissions and attendance!
    [2020-04]
    I am the Co-Chair of DeepSpatial 2020, an ACM SIGKDD 2020 Workshop on "Deep Learning for Spatiotemporal Data, Applications, and Systems". Look forward to your submissions and attendance!
    [2020-04]
    I am the Co-Editor of the Special Issue of Representation Learning for Graph Mining and Generation in Frontiers in Big Data. Welcome your submissions!
    [2020-04]
    I am the Co-Editor of the Special Issue of Deep Learning for Molecular Structure Modelling in Molecules (Impact Factor: 3.060). Welcome your submissions!
    [2020-03]
    Survey, code, and datasets are available on the domain of "Deep Graph Generation and Transformation".
    [2020-03]
    Survey, code, and datasets are available on the domain of "Spatial and Temporal Event Prediction".
    [2020-03]
    Survey, code, and datasets are available on the domain of "Social Media Mining". 
    [2020-03]
    Survey, code, and datasets are available on the domain of "Gradient-free Optimization for Deep Neural Networks".
    [2020-02]
    One paper is accepted at IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security.
    [2020-01]
    Students Xiaojie Guo, Yuyang Gao, and Junxiang Wang will go for research-track internship at IBM Research, Microsoft Research, and NEC Lab in Summer 2020, respectively.
    [2020-01]
    One paper is accepted at TKDE.
    [2019-12]
    One paper is accepted at AAAI 2020.
    [2019-12]
    Two papers are accepted in DATE 2020. 
    [2019-11]
      Older News...

    Awards

  • NSF CAREER Award, National Science Foundation, 2020
  • Best Paper Award, 19th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM 2019), IEEE, 2019
  • Jeffress Trust Award, Jeffress Memorial Trust Foundation, 2018
  • NSF CRII Award, National Science Foundation, 2018
  • Outstanding Doctoral Student, Department of Computer Science, Virginia Tech, 2017
  • Top 20 Rising Stars in Data Mining, Miscrosoft Academic Search, 2016
  • First Place (Top 0.1%), China National Graduate Student Mathematics Contest in Modeling, 2010
  • First Prize (Top 5%), MITSUBISHI Automation Cup, 2009
  • Championship, Microsoft Robotics Challenge on RoboCup Wheeled Simulation, China, 2009
  • Championship, Microsoft Robotics Challenge on RoboCup Humanoid Simulation, China, 2009

  • Contact

  • Email: lzhao9@gmu.edu
  • Phone: (703)-993-5910
  • Address: Room 5343 Engineering Building, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030