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The SAND Lab (Systems, Algorithms, Networking and Data) at University of Chicago is co-directed by Professor Ben Y. Zhao and Professor Heather Zheng. Our research spans topics in networked systems, social networks, HCI, wireless networks, security, data mining and modeling. Lab members includes (8-9) PhD and MS students, undergrad researchers, and visiting scholars.


Congrats to Bolun, Yuanshun and Bimal for their USENIX Security paper on transfer learning!

A huge congratulations to Professor Bimal Viswanath. Bimal will be joining Virginia Tech as tenure-track assistant professor this fall!

Congrats to Shiliang, Xinyi, Jenna and Miriam for their CSCW 2018 paper on gender bias!

Congrats to Yuanshun, Bimal, Jenna for their CCS paper on Automated Crowdturf Attacks using DNNs!

Congrats to Yuanshun, Zhujun, Bolun, and Bimal for their IMC paper on ML as a Service!

NSF is funding our new project on analysis of and defenses against SybilDevices!

Congrats to Xinyi, Shiliang, Megan for their ICWSM papers (one on echo chambers, one on Venmo mobile payments)!

Congrats to Qingyun, Xiaohan for their social network dynamics self-similarity paper at ACM TOMPECS!

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

Congrats to Ana, Zhijing, Yanzi and Xia for their SenSys paper!

Double congratulations to Gang for his new tenure track faculty position at Virginia Tech, and for winning the UCSB CS Department Dissertation Award!

Congrats to Heather for her Google Faculty Award on 60GHz wireless networks!

Current Research Areas

Research at the SAND lab encompasses topics across multiple areas, most heavily centered around three core areas: wireless and mobile systems, HCI and social behavior, security and privacy. Please see individual links below for more information on specific ongoing projects and related publications.

Wireless and Mobile Systems


HCI and Analysis of User Behavior


Measurements, Security and Privacy

  • Projects
  • Adversarial Attacks against and using ML
  • Malicious Crowdsourcing and Defenses
  • Measurements of Social Systems and Networks
  • Recent publications
  • CCS'17: Automated Crowdturfing Attacks using RNNs
  • IMC'17: Complexity vs Performance in ML as Service
  • IMC'16: A Personalized Livestreaming System

Recent Papers (2014-2017)

  • CSCW: Gender Bias over Time
  • CCS: Fake Online Reviews using DNNs
  • IMC: ML as a Service
  • ICWSM: Echo chambers in discussion boards
  • ICWSM: Venmo mobile payments
  • MobiSys: Single device 60GHz radar
  • WWW: Identifying value in crowdsourced data
  • IMC: Anatomy of personalized livestreaming svcs
  • IMC: Empirical link prediction
  • SenSys: Commodity Spectrum Monitoring
  • MobiSys: Defending Against Sybil Devices
  • ICWSM: Misbehavior in location-based soc. networks
  • CHI: Unsupervised clickstream clustering
  • NSDI: Cellular traffic optimization
  • COSN: Towards Graph Watermarks
  • COSN: Process-driven Analysis of Dynamics in Online Social Interactions
  • Mobicom: Practical 60GHz Mobile Radar
  • SIGCOMM: Congestion Control for Large-scale RDMA Deployments
  • SIGCOMM: Packet-Level Telemetry in Large Datacenter Networks
  • WWW: Energy and Performance of Smartphone Radio Bundling in Outdoor Environments
  • CSCW: Crowds on Wall Street: Extracting Value from Collaborative Investing Platforms
  • IMC: Whispers in the Dark: Analysis of an Anonymous Social Network

Available Software Downloads
* Measurement-calibrated graph models
* Graph Coordinate Systems (Orion, Rigel, Leo)

News and Upcoming Deadlines

  • 8/2017: SAND Lab moves to University of Chicago!
  • 7/2017: Ben joins editorial board of ACM Transactions on the Web
  • 6/2017: NSF funds SAND Lab proposal on Sybil Devices (w/ Rice)
  • 5/2017: Ben and Heather accept posts as Neubauer Professors of Computer Science at University of Chicago