Ben Y. Zhao


News in Last 12 Months

Sept 2016: TCP offloading @Hotnets

Congrats to Yanzi, Yibo, Ana!

August 2016: Self-similarity paper @TOMPECS

Congrats to Qingyun, Xiaohan for their Self-similarity in Social Network Dynamics paper!

July 2016: 2 papers @IMC 2016

Congrats to Bolun, Qingyun, Xinyi and Shiliang for their IMC papers (Periscope and Link Prediction)!

July 2016: WWW 2017 TPC

June 2016: WSDM 2017 TPC

May 2016: Yibo joining MSR!

Congratulations to Yibo on his full-time researcher position starting this summer!

Apr 2016: Dissertation award!

Congrats to Gang for winning the UCSB CS 2016 Dissertation Award!

Apr 2016: Professor Wang!

Huge congrats to Gang for accepting new position as Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech!

Apr 2016: MIT TR Article

on our 60GHz experimental work

Feb 2016: FourSquare @ICWSM

Congrats to Gang on his ICWSM paper!

Feb 2016: Sybil Devices @Mobisys

Congrats to Gang, Bolun and Tianyi on their Mobisys paper!

Feb 2016: ESORICS 2016 TPC

Jan 2016: ACM CoNEXT 2016 TPC

Dec 2015: Clickstream paper @ CHI 2016

Congrats to Gang, Xinyi, Shiliang on their CHI paper!

Nov 2015: ACM IMC 2016 TPC

Nov 2015: ACM Distinguished Scientist

Honored to be named ACM Distinguished Scientist!

Sept 2015: AAAI ICWSM Senior TPC

July 2015: NSF grant on user modeling

in anonymous social networks

June 2015: IEEE S&P 2016 TPC

June 2015: 60GHz RADAR @MOBICOM

Congrats to Yanzi Zhu and Yibo Zhu for their MOBICOM paper!

May 2015: SIGCOMM papers

Congrats to Yibo Zhu on his 2 SIGCOMM 2015 papers!

March 2015: ACM SOCC 2015 TPC

March 2015: Duke Chronicle

Another Venmo article/interview (link).

Feb 2015: Daily Nexus

Interviewed for article discussing Venmo here

Press coverage on Crowdturfing

MIT Tech Review, Boston Globe, SlashDot, MIT Technology Review, Consumerist, InfoWorld

Press coverage on 3-D beamforming

New York Times, MIT Technology Review


Clickstream modeling code here
Code to generate measurement-calibrated synthetic graphs available here
Code to build efficient embeddings of graph coordinate systems available here

Contact info

Lab: 3534 Phelps, map (mostly here)
Office: 1123 Harold Frank Hall (rarely here)
Lab phone: 805-893-3417
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106

ravenben at cs dot ucsb dot edu
Twitter, Facebook, Quora, Linkedin, Renren

Travel/Deadlines (UCSB Calendar)

Jan 11-13, U. Chicago
CFP: Jan 25, HotOS 2017
Feb 7-8, Google Network Research Summit, Sunnyvale CA
CFP: Feb 16, USENIX Security 2017
CFP: Feb 24, ICML 2017
February 27-28, Northwestern
CFP: March 15, Mobicom 2017
March 16, Northeastern
March 17, Cornell
May 7-10, CHI 2017, Denver
CFP: May 11-18, IMC 2017

Other Stuff

Google Scholar (~21000), H-index: 56
Erdos # = 3 (Erdos-M. Saks-K. Hildrum-B. Y. Zhao)
This page, circa 2011

I am a Professor of Computer Science at UC Santa Barbara. My research covers a range of topics from large-distributed networks and systems, HCI, security and privacy, and wireless / mobile systems, mostly from a data-driven perspective. My current projects are focused on three areas: data-driven models of user behavior/interactions, security of online and mobile communities, and wireless systems and protocols. My work targets a range of top conferences, including WWW/IMC, Mobicom/SIGCOMM/NSDI, UsenixSecurity/NDSS/S&P, CHI/CSCW. Here's a wordle of my paper abstracts from 2013-early 2015.

Together with Prof. Heather Zheng, I co-direct the SAND Lab (Systems, Algorithms, Networking and Data) at UCSB. I received my PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 2004, where I was advised by John Kubiatowicz and Anthony Joseph, and created the Tapestry distributed hash table (dissertation). I received my MS from Berkeley in 2000, and my BS in computer science from Yale in 1997. I am an ACM Distinguished Scientist, a recipient of the National Science Foundation's 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. My papers have a bit more than 21,000 citations and an H-index of 56.

Recent news/blog coverage on our Waze/Sybil devices work: Fusion (1, 2), Channel 10 CBS News, Recode/CNBC, The Telegraph, Times of Israel, Globes Israel, i24 News, TechCrunch, PC Magazine, KRMG News, SC Magazine, TechWeek Europe, Hacked (1690AM) (5/3), Mobile World Live, Haartez, Santa Barbara Independent, Naked Security, Al-Bawaba, Hackread, Slashdot, Tech Times (1, 2), Daily Nexus, Engadget, Slash Gear, Auto Blog, Android Authority, Hot Hardware.
Waze issued a response to our research here. is a great new system that ranks CS departments ONLY by their research productivity as measured by publications at the TOP conference venues, developed by Emery Berger at UMass. It's a data-driven, transparent alternative to US News that explicitly focuses on research productivity instead of opaque reputations. Check it out! (UCSB CS is currently ranked #19!)

Teaching Winter 2017: CS176B: Network computing, M/W 2:00-3:15PM, HSSB 1173

Active data mining/OSN project pages: Clickstream behavior models, Graph Coordinate Systems, Graph Modeling/Generation, Social Network Measurement/Analysis, Detection of Social Spam and Fake Users (Sybils)

I'm looking for bright PhD students!!
We've got too many cool projects, and not enough driven/passionate students to drive all of them! Email me if you're interested in working with me, and like to have fun in your research projects. But before you do, please read a FAQ, and a note on why you should choose UCSB. I am also very active on Quora ("Top Writer" 2014-2016). You can read about my views on grad students (1, 2, 3), grad admissions (1, 2, 3), research (1, 2), and grants (1)

Update: We do not have spots for visiting students or postdocs. Please do not send me unsolicited email about visiting student or postdoc applications; due to the volume of these emails, I will be unable to reply to them individually.

UCSB Undergraduates interested in research?
I generally advise 1-3 undergraduates in my lab in active research. The best way to join my lab as an undergrad is to take and do well in my courses, CS176B (network programming), CS170 (Operating Systems), or CS276 (graduate networking).