The Ken Kennedy Institute's June Member of the Month: Dr. Xia (Ben) Hu

The Ken Kennedy Institute's June Member of the Month: Dr. Xia (Ben) Hu, Director, Data to Knowledge Lab (D2K) and Associate Professor, Computer Science

Xia Ben Hu

The Ken Kennedy Institute's June Member of the Month, Dr. Xia (Ben) Hu, is the Director of the Data to Knowledge Lab (D2K) and an Associate Professor of Computer Science. Dr. Hu received BA and MS degrees from Beihang University and his PhD from Arizona State University. Dr. Hu has published over 100 papers in several major academic venues, including NeurIPS, ICLR, KDD, WWW, IJCAI, AAAI, etc. An open-source package developed by his group, namely AutoKeras, has become the most used automated deep learning system on Github (with over 8,000 stars and 1,000 forks). Also, his work on deep collaborative filtering, anomaly detection and knowledge graphs have been included in the TensorFlow package, Apple production system and Bing production system, respectively. His papers have received severaL Best Paper (Candidate) awards from venues such as WWW, WSDM and ICDM. He is the recipient of NSF CAREER Award. His work has been cited more than 10,000 times with an h-index of 41. He was the conference General Co-Chair for WSDM 2020.

Dr. Hu's research areas include; data science, interpretable machine learning, automated machine learning, and network analytics.

What is your favorite book?

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

How do you explain your research in one sentence?

We develop automated and interpretable data mining and machine learning algorithms with theoretical properties to better discover actionable patterns from large-scale, networked, dynamic and sparse data.

What is your favorite aspect of your research?

Our research not only has theoretical impact, but also has a real-world impact that helps researchers and practitioners in their machine learning algorithms and systems.

What challenges do you see in your research that you didn't expect?

Some interesting research problems may only be hypothetical questions but not necessarily really exist in real-world scenarios.

How do you see computation and data advancing in the future?

Computation and data is changing our life every day, and is leading to revolution such as electricity and internet to our daily life and society.

What is a favorite experience with the Ken Kennedy Institute?

K2I has played a critical role in connecting researchers from different areas together, internally and externally, towards a bigger impact to our community and society.


The Rice Ken Kennedy Institute is located on the campus of Rice University inside Duncan Hall. Click the map below for directions.

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Houston, Texas 77005


Phone: 713-348-5823

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