I have been an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Ohio State University (OSU) since Fall 2016. Prior to that, I spent half a year as a visiting scientist at the University of Washington, and received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of California, Santa Barbara (2015) and a B.S. in EEIS from the University of Science and Technology of China (2010).

I am looking for multiple highly self-motivated Ph.D. students and Postdocs, and also have interest in advising passionate master and undergraduate students, as well as hosting visiting students (Funding can be provided to students with great records and performance). Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are interested.

Research Interests (Group page)

My research interests lie in data mining, and machine learning with emphasis on text mining and understanding, network analysis, and human behavior understanding. Particularly, my research projects focus on: (1) Machine intelligent question answering (QA) based on various sources, such as knowledge bases, texts, and tables; (2) Human collaborative QA: expert behavior understanding and expertise mining; (3) Knowledge discovery from texts and networks.




  • 11/2018: Our work on “Interactive Semantic Parsing for If-Then Recipes via Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning” was accepted to AAAI’19 (acceptance rate: 16.2%). Please check out our interactive semantic parser here!
  • 11/2018: Our work on “Answer Identification from Product Reviews for User Questions by Multi-task Attentive Networks” was accepted to AAAI’19 (acceptance rate: 16.2%).
  • 07/2018: Our paper "A Comprehensive Study of StaQC for Deep Code Summarization,” an extension study of our <natural language question, code snippet> dataset mined from Stack Overflow in WWW 2018, was accepted in KDD 2018 Deep Learning Day (SPOTLIGHT)!
  • 12/2017: Work by Ziyu Yao on mining large-scale high-quality <natural language question, code snippet> pairs got accepted in WWW 2018. This is our very first work along the research line to facilitate Computer Science for All. Please check our datasets, code, and paper here!
  • 06/2017: Work by Jie Zhao on answer triggering got accepted in EMNLP 2017. Code is now available here. Please let Jie or me know if you have any suggestions!
  • 01/2017: Got tired of simple question answering? Try out our characteristic-rich question set! Any suggestions are welcome. ;)
  • 12/2016: Our paper "Reliable Medical Diagnosis from Crowdsourcing: Discover Trustworthy Answers from Non-Experts" was accepted in WSDM 2017
  • 09/2016: Our paper "An Augmented LSTM Framework to Construct Medical Self-diagnosis Android" was accepted in ICDM 2016
  • 07/2016: Our paper "On Generating Characteristic-rich Question Sets for QA Evaluation" was accepted in EMNLP 2016

Students & Services

  • 03/2018: Invited to be Review Editor in Data Mining and Management, part of the journal Frontiers in Big Data and AI.
  • 03/2018: Honored to serve as Publicity Co-chair for SDM 2019.
  • 03/2018: Ziyu Yao will intern at Microsoft Research, Redmond this coming summer to work on Reinforcement Learning + NLP. Congratulations!
  • 11/2017: Ziyu Yao’s summer internship experience at Fujitsu Laboratories of America was reported by OSU TDAI.
  • 01/2017: I am on the program committee of SIGKDD 2017, ACL 2017, EMNLP 2017, CIKM 2017 (senior PC), IJCAI-BOOM 2017 (Please consider submitting to BOOM)
  • 07/2016: Received SIGKDD 2016 Ph.D. Dissertation Runner Up Award


  • 08/2018: We are very thankful and excited for receiving an NSF grant for our research.
  • 11/2017: We are thrilled and thankful for receiving a PCORI grant in collaboration with Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
  • 09/2017: We are very excited and grateful for receiving an ARO grant for our research.
  • 03/2017: We received a gift grant from Fujitsu Laboratories of America. Thanks, Fujitsu!


Many thanks to NSF, PCORI, ARO, Fujitsu Laboratories of America, and Ohio Supercomputer Center for their generous support of our research.

Last updated: 08/2018