Two SMU computing dons honoured at Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining 2019

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Professor Lim Ee Peng and Associate Professor Zhu Feida from the School of Information Systems at Singapore Management University (SMU) have been conferred the PAKDD Distinguished Contributions Award and PAKDD Early Career Award respectively at the Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (PAKDD) 2019.

Professor Jaideep Srivastava, Chair, PAKDD Awards Committee said, “This is the very first time that faculty from the same institution have received both these awards in PAKDD’s almost 25 years of history; and should be considered a significant milestone. It speaks volumes about the quality of not only the faculty, but also SMU and the programme these faculty members are part of.”

The PAKDD Distinguished Contributions Award is the highest award presented by the PAKDD. This recognition is given only to individuals who have established an international reputation through their seminal scholarship as well as exceptional organisational and service contributions to the field. In a sense it is the acknowledgement of a well-rounded senior scholar.

The PAKDD Early Career Award is given to individuals for showing exceptional promise to become a star in the field.

The PAKDD is one of the longest established and leading international conferences in the areas of data mining and knowledge discovery.

Professor Lim Ee Peng

 

Professor Lim is Lee Kong Chian Professor of Information Systems and Director of the Living Analytics Research Centre, the largest research centre in SMU. The research centre focuses on developing intelligent, personalised and participatory technologies for enabling smart city applications and services.

His research interests include data mining, information retrieval, and information integration. He has contributed to several pioneering works on mining social media user behavioural data to predict topic-specific influencers, unobserved user attributes, bot accounts, etc. He and his collaborators have developed a series of machine learning models to discover or predict trust and social relationships between users, applying them to improve recommendation.

On receiving the PAKDD Distinguished Contributions Award, Prof Lim said “I deeply appreciate the Awards Committee for giving me this award. Other than sharing this honour with my research collaborators and students who have made my research journey an exciting one, I hope to continue promoting more KDD research, education and technology development in Asia Pacific so as to support KDD innovation and adoption for improving societal well-being.”

Prof Lim has published more than 300 refereed conference and journal papers. His paper on Twitterrank, an extension to Pagerank algorithm to determine influential Twitter users, has been cited by more than 2000 other publications.

Prior to this PAKDD award, Prof Lim has received three Best Paper Awards from international conferences. Among these is the Best Paper Award at the 8th International Digital Health Conference in 2018 by Prof Lim and his team for their study on the eating behavioural data of a large community of food journalers. The paper concluded that the food journalers were not eating as healthily as they should despite their proclivity to healthy eating.  The findings ascertained an urgent need to design new apps to engage users to make healthy food choices.

Other awards he has received included a Recognition of Services award from the Association of Computing Machinery (the world’s largest computing research society), Lee Kong Chian Fellowship for Research Excellence award from SMU, and Recognition of Outstanding Research award from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Prof Lim joined SMU School of Information Systems in 2008 and became the Director of the Living Analytics Research Centre in 2011.  With his research experience, Prof Lim now serves as a member of the Singapore’s Social Science Research Council.

He received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA, and Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems and Computer Science (with Honours) from the National University of Singapore.

 

Associate Professor Zhu Feida

Prof Zhu’s research focus are in data mining, AI and blockchain technology, with emphasis on their applications to business, financial and social innovation. He is interested in developing the theory, algorithms and applications for bringing value out of data for the benefit of people — a “user-centric” data-driven paradigm for data intelligence.

Prof Zhu was the director of the Pinnacle Lab for Analytics with China Ping An Insurance Group at SMU. The lab’s research focused on social media and mobile data mining and analysis for finance industry. The lab has nurtured a series of innovation and applications in the area of banking and insurance from underlying research breakthroughs in data mining. Over the years, the lab have helped Fortune 500 companies from a number of industries with customised application platforms powered by big data engine. Prof Zhu was also the director of DBS-SMU Life Analytics Lab for data-driven FinTech innovations.

On receiving the PAKDD Early Career Award, Prof Zhu said “It is my great pleasure and honor to receive yet another award from PAKDD, as I had also received the Best Student Paper Award from PAKDD in 2007. It is a huge encouragement for me to continue in my effort to integrate research, education and industrial collaboration to explore and empower the value of data intelligence for the benefit of business, financial and social innovations.”

Prof Zhu has obtained more than 30 patents and has published over 100 peer-reviewed research publications at top international conferences, including multiple Best Paper Awards.

Among the research projects Prof Zhu is currently working on is SYMPHONY, a blockchain-based protocol to empower a data-driven economy by democratizing and personalizing data intelligence with privacy by design. The project aims to establish a proper paradigm to enable transparent, privacy-preserving and mutually-benefiting data usage between individual users and the whole world of data consumers in both private and public sectors.

Prof Zhu joined SMU in 2009 after obtaining his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Fudan University, China.