Faculty of Applied Sciences

Alumni Profile: Bin Zhou, Computer Science

October 07, 2011

For most of us, being a search expert means being able to find things easily on the internet. For recent graduate Dr. Bin Zhou, the term has far deeper and broader meanings.

His groundbreaking research on keyword searches in large data sets has created considerable impact in the fields of database systems and data mining and attracted many follow-up studies from leading research groups around the world. Some techniques developed in his research projects have been adopted by industrial collaborators such as Microsoft and SAP to integrate into their commercial products.

His work addresses the needs of search providers to provide the best data possible, eliminating "spam" results and protecting the privacy of users. The huge amounts of data now available on the internet, from public data to malicious spam to private user information, pose very large search challenges.

His future research will be into real-time information management and search — finding important information in real-time (e.g., popular tweets on Twitter), even before they are widely spread on the Web.

Bin says, "The experience of graduate studies at SFU was more than I had expected. It provided me many opportunities to develop career skills and critical thought. The visionary thoughts and energetic working styles of Dr. Jian Pei, my advisor, and other faculty members in SFU's School of Computing Science
 have influenced me greatly."

He adds, "One thing that I was extremely grateful for is the experience of being a sessional instructor at SFU. Knowing the materials and teaching the materials to others are two completely different things. That experience enhanced my teaching and communication capabilities and prepared me well for my professional career."

He's now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Systems, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and yes, he's accepting new graduate students for research positions. The world of search continues to expand exponentially; it's definitely one of the world's "growth" industries.

He's come a long way from his bachelor's degree at Fudan University, in China. We're proud that he chose to do both his master's and PhD degrees at SFU.

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