Department of Computer Science
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I am an assistant professor in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to joining UIC, I spent a few years in industry as a data scientist, working on large-scale recommender systems, personalization, incentivized sharing, and data science tools for journalists. I built and led the data science team at LivingSocial, and later was a principal data scientist at Vox Media. I also spent a year in government as an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation, contributing to national initiatives at the intersection of data science and public policy. Many of the research problems I am interested to solve are informed by my industry and public policy experience. I received my Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2011 from the University of Maryland, College Park where my advisor was Lise Getoor.
My research spans different aspects of data science, including machine learning, causal inference, graph mining, network science, and privacy. My research goal is to unify these aspects in a single framework that allows us to reason better with data and solve important societal problems. I am especially interested in algorithms for heterogeneous graphs and networks, with focus on:
- How we can improve machine learning methods by addressing bias in (found) data
- How we can build cohesive data science frameworks that include both causal inference and machine learning
- How we can empower people in their privacy choices through personalized privacy assistants
I am motivated by compelling applications, and some of the areas that I study are personalization, social media, social networks, journalism, and e-commerce.
If you are a prospective student interested to work with me, you need to apply to the CS Ph.D. program. If you are already admitted to the program, send me an email with your interests and CV. You may also want to read this article on how to be a successful Ph.D. student.
January 2019: Chris Tran and I will be presenting our paper on "Learning Triggers for Heterogeneous Treatment Effects" at AAAI 2019
November 2019: Giving an invited talk at the UCSC Workshop on Privacy in Graphs
October 2018: Co-organizing the 3rd workshop on Translational Data Science hosted by NYU
September 2018: Our letter to Nature on "How to deliver translational data-science benefits to science and society" has been published
August 2018: Excited to receive a four-year NSF grant to study retrospective data management for enabling long-term security and privacy, with Chris Kanich and Blase Ur
August 2018: Co-organizing the 2nd Workshop on Data Science, Journalism & Media at KDD 2018
February 2018: Giving an invited talk at the Northwestern University Institute on Complex Systems Seminar Series
February 2018: Giving an invited talk at the UIC Social Psychology Seminar Series
February 2018: Invited speaker at UIUC's weSTEM Conference
October 2017: Invited talk at DePaul University's CDM Research Colloquium
August 2017: Giving a keynote at the Mining and Learning with Graphs (MLG) Workshop at KDD 2017
August 2017: Co-organizing the Workshop on Data Science + Journalism at KDD 2017
August 2017: Our paper on "Optimizing the Effectiveness of Incentivized Social Sharing" was accepted at ASONAM 2017
June 2017: Co-organizing the workshop on Translational Data Science in Chicago
May 2017: Receiving a DCFemTech Award which recognizes "powerful women programmers, designers, and data scientists" in Washington, DC
April 2017: Invited talk on Data Science in Social Spaces: Personalization vs. Privacy at DIMACS Workshop on Privacy and Security in Big Data
April 2017: Serving as publicity co-chair for ICDE 2017
February 2017: Our paper on "Directed Edge Recommender System" is accepted at WSDM 2017
November 2016: Presenting in the NIH BD2K Webinar Series on "Databases & Data Warehouses, Data: Structures, Types, Integrations"
T. Sun, S. Viswanathan, E. Zheleva. Creating Social Contagion through Firm-mediated Message Design: Evidence from A Randomized Field Experiment. Management Science Journal. 2019 (forthcoming).
C. Baru, S. Bird, A. Blatecky, D. Culler, R. Grossman, B. Howe, V. Janeja, M. Lee, R. Machiraju, E. Zheleva. Translational Data Science: From Foundations to Impact. Harvard Data Science Review. Position paper. 2019 (forthcoming).
C. Tran, E. Zheleva. Learning Triggers for Heterogeneous Treatment Effects. AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) 2019. PDF.
T. Sun, L. Shi, S. Viswanathan, E. Zheleva. Motivating Effective Mobile App Adoptions: Evidence From A Large-Scale Randomized Field Experiment. Information Systems Research Journal (ISR). 2019 (forthcoming).
J. Pfeiffer, E. Zheleva. Incentivized Social Sharing: Characteristics and Optimization. Lecture Notes in Social Networks book series (LNSN). Springer. December 2018.
Noah Hirsch, Chris Kanich, Mohammad Taha Khan, Xuefeng Liu, Mainack Mondal, Michael Tang, Christopher Tran, Blase Ur, William Wang, Günce Su Yilmaz, Elena Zheleva. Making Retrospective Data Management Usable. Poster. 14th Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS). Baltimore, MD, August 2018.
J. Pfeiffer, E. Zheleva. Optimizing the Effectiveness of Incentivized Social Sharing. 9th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Network Analysis and Mining (ASONAM) 2017. PDF.
I. Kotsogiannis, E. Zheleva, A. Machanavajjhala. Directed Edge Recommender System. 10th ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM) 2017. PDF.
T. Sun, L. Shi, S. Viswanathan, E. Zheleva. Motivating Mobile App Adoption: Evidence From A Large-Scale Field Experiment. Conference on Information Systems and Technology (CIST) 2016. PDF.
T. Sun, S. Viswanathan, E. Zheleva. Monetize Sharing Traffic Through Incentive Design: A Randomized Field Experiment. Conference on Information Systems and Technology (CIST) 2015. INFORMS 2015. PDF
T. Sun, S. Viswanathan, E. Zheleva. Creating Social Contagion through Message Design: A Randomized Field Experiment. International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) 2014. INFORMS 2014 Service Science Best Student Paper, Third Place.
T. Sun, S. Viswanathan, E. Zheleva. Antecedences and Consequences of Multichannel Sharing Behaviors. INFORMS 2014.
T. Sun, S. Viswanathan, E. Zheleva. Impact of Message Design on Online Interactions: An Empirical Investigation. International Conference on Electronic Commerce (ICEC) 2014.
J. Pfeiffer III, E. Zheleva. Incentivized Sharing in Social Networks. VLDB workshop on Online Social Systems (WOSS) 2012. PDF.
E. Zheleva. Prediction, Evolution and Privacy in Social and Affiliation Networks. PhD Dissertation. July, 2011. Abstract, PDF.
E. Zheleva, L. Getoor, S. Sarawagi. Higher-order Graphical Models for Classification in Social and Affiliation Networks. NIPS Workshop on Networks Across Disciplines: Theory and Applications 2010.Abstract, PDF.
E. Zheleva, J. Guiver, E. Mendes Rodrigues, N. Milic-Frayling. Statistical Models of Music-listening Sessions in Social Media. 19th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW) 2010 (12% acceptance rate). Abstract, PDF. Conference talk on VideoLectures.
E. Zheleva, H. Sharara, L. Getoor. Co-evolution of Social and Affiliation Networks. 15th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD) 2009 (10% acceptance rate). Abstract, PDF. Also presented at INFORMS 2009.
E. Zheleva, L. Getoor. To Join or not to Join: The Illusion of Privacy in Social Networks with Mixed Public and Private User Profiles. 18th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW) 2009 (12% acceptance rate). Abstract, PDF. Slides.
E. Zheleva, A. Kolcz, L. Getoor. Trusting Spam Reporters: A Reporter-based Reputation System for Email Filtering. ACM Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS), vol. 27, no. 1, December 2008.Abstract, PDF. Patent.
E. Zheleva, L. Getoor, J. Golbeck, U. Kuter. Using Friendship Ties and Family Circles for Link Prediction. KDD Workshop on Social Network Mining and Analysis 2008. PDF.
A. Don, E. Zheleva, M. Gregory, S. Tarkan, L. Auvil, T. Clement, B. Shneiderman, C. Plaisant. Discovering Interesting Usage Patterns in Text Collections: Integrating Text Mining with Visualization. 16th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM) 2007.Abstract, PDF. Application.
E. Zheleva, A. Arslan. Fast Motif Search in Protein Sequence Databases. Computer Science Symposium 2006.
V. Kantabutra, B. Tsendjav, E. Zheleva. Glide Algorithm with Tunneling: A Fast, Reliably Convergent Algorithm for Neural Network Training. Conference on Artificial Neural Networks in Engineering (ANNIE) 2003.
V. Kantabutra, E. Zheleva. Gradient Descent with Fast Gliding over Flat Regions: A First Report.IEEE Industrial Electronics Conference (IECON) 2002.
Service to Community
Third Workshop on Translational Data Science 2018
2nd Workshop on Data Science, Journalism & Media at KDD 2018
1st Workshop on Data Science + Journalism at KDD 2017
First Workshop on Translational Data Science 2017
Publicity Chair: ICDE 2017
Area Chair: NIPS 2017, NIPS 2018
Conference Program Committee Member:
AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) 2010, 2019
International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) 2018
World Wide Web Conference (WWW) 2017, 2018, 2019
ACM Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM) 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017
Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) 2016
Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) 2016
European Conference on Machine Learning (ECML) 2013, 2014, 2015
AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM) 2013
ACM Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD) 2010
ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM) 2008, 2009
ACM Symposium on Applied Computing (SAC) 2010
Ph.D., University of Maryland, 2011
February 2018 - Personalization of Social Sharing. Northwestern University Institute on Complex Systems (NICO) Seminar Series Winter 2018
February 2018 - Panel on How to Survive & Thrive on the Tenure-Track. UIUC's weSTEM Conference
October 2017 - Data Science in Social Spaces: Machine learning, causal inference, privacy. DePaul University's CDM Research Colloquium
August 2017 - Sharing and Gifting: Lessons from E-commerce. Keynote at the Mining and Learning with Graphs Workshop at KDD 2017.
April 2017 - Data Science in Social Spaces: Personalization vs. Privacy. DIMACS Workshop on Privacy and Security in Big Data.
November 2016 - Databases & Data Warehouses, Data: Structures, Types, Integrations. BD2K Seminar Series.
April 2013, 2014 - Deal Personalization. Class on Data Mining for Business Intelligence, Wharton School of Business, UPenn
March 2013 - Incentivized Sharing in Social Networks. Class on Networks, Crowds and Markets, Stern School of Business, NYU
February 2013 - Analytics in a Personalized Online World: Complex Networks and Incentives. Smith School of Business, UMd
June 2012 - A/B Testing, Personalization and Privacy. Digital Marketing Analytics Roundtable, DMAR
November 2011 - Data Science Classroom: Naive Bayes and Logistic Regression. DC Data Science Meetup
February 2011 - Prediction and Privacy in Social and Affiliation Networks. Tepper School of Business, CMU
November 2009 - Privacy in Social Networks. Workshop on Security and Artificial Intelligence, AISec 2009