CV (pdf)

Xinhua Zhang

Associate Professor
Department of Computer Science
University of Illinois at Chicago

Chicago, IL, 60607-7053

Office location (NOT mailing address):

North End, Level 3, Richard Daley Library


Tel:    312-413-2416 (O)



  Advanced Machine Learning for Spring 2024: [Syllabus]. You can register on [Piazza] with no need of instructor's approval.


Research Interests

My current research in machine learning focuses on convex models for learning predictive representation. Most existing machine learning methods infer representation from data in a way that is independent of its subsequent use, e.g. learning a predictive model. This is suboptimal. My research goal is to jointly infer latent representation and learn predictors for massive datasets by combining them into a single convex optimization problem. Convexity allows jointly optimal solutions to be found for these two tasks, and scale up efficiently to large application problems. To achieve this goal, my key strategies are: 1) find appropriate convex relaxations that retain the structure of the data, e.g. semi-definite relaxations; and 2) design efficient algorithms for optimization such as low-rank approximation.

I work on applications in pattern recognition, document analysis, image processing, and any prediction problem that is useful in life.


Prior to joining UIC in Nov 2015, I was a Senior Researcher at the Machine Learning Research Group of National ICT Australia (NICTA, now Data61). From April 2010 to September 2012, I was a post-doc working with Prof Dale Schuurmans at the Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta.  From March 2006 to October 2009, I was a NICTA-endorsed PhD student of the Research School of Computer Science, Australian National University (ANU), working with Prof SVN Vishwanathan and Prof Alex Smola.  I visited Prof SVN Vishwanathan at the Department of Statistics at Purdue University from February 2009 to March 2010.  From January 2004 to March 2006, I pursued my Master's degree (by research) under the supervision of Prof Wee Sun Lee at the Department of Computer Science, National University of Singapore (NUS). I received my B.E. from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in July 2003. My hometown is Shanghai.

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