Email: yuz9 [AT] illinois [DOT] edu
Office: Room 1117, Siebel Center for Computer Science, 201 N. Goodwin Ave, Urbana, IL 61801

What’s New

2020-04-06 Passed my Qualifying Exam and became a Ph.D. candidate.

2020-01-11 Our paper on Category-Name Guided Text Embedding was accepted by WWW 2020 as a full paper! The acceptance rate is 19.2% (217/1129).

2019-12-10 Traveled to Los Angeles to give a conference tutorial at IEEE BigData 2019.

2019-11 Served as an external reviewer for WWW 2020.

2019-10-01 Our paper on Distantly-Supervised Biomedical NER was accepted by BIBM 2019! The acceptance rate of regular papers is 18.0% (98/543).

2019-08-09 Our paper on Hierarchical GitHub Repository Classification was accepted by ICDM 2019 as a regular paper! The acceptance rate of regular papers is 9.1% (95/1046).



I am a Ph.D. student in the Data Mining Group at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, advised by Prof. Jiawei Han. I finished my M.Sc. study in the same group in 2019. My research interests are text mining, information network analysis, and their applications to bioinformatics.

Prior to UIUC, I received my B.Sc. degree in Computer Science from Peking University in 2017, supervised by Prof. Yan Zhang.

In summer 2016, I visited Carnegie Mellon University, working with Prof. Kathleen M. Carley and Dr. Wei Wei.

In summer 2020, I will intern at Microsoft Research Redmond, working with Dr. Iris Shen.

For further information, please see my CV.

Selected Publications

(* indicates Equal Contribution)


Heterogeneous Network Representation Learning: Survey, Benchmark, Evaluation, and Beyond [arXiv] [code]
Carl Yang*, Yuxin Xiao*, Yu Zhang*, Yizhou Sun, Jiawei Han.

Discriminative Topic Mining via Category-Name Guided Text Embedding [PDF] [arXiv] [code]
Y. Meng, J. Huang, G. Wang, Z. Wang, C. Zhang, Y. Zhang, J. Han.
WWW 2020. Taipei.


HiGitClass: Keyword-Driven Hierarchical Classification of GitHub Repositories [PDF] [arXiv] [code]
Yu Zhang, Frank F. Xu, Sha Li, Yu Meng, Xuan Wang, Qi Li, Jiawei Han.
ICDM 2019. Beijing, China.

Diversifying Seeds and Audience in Social Influence Maximization [PDF] [arXiv]
Yu Zhang.
ASONAM 2019. Vancouver, Canada.

Distantly Supervised Biomedical Named Entity Recognition with Dictionary Expansion [PDF]
Xuan Wang*, Yu Zhang*, Qi Li, Xiang Ren, Jingbo Shang, Jiawei Han.
BIBM 2019. San Diego, CA, USA.

Cross-type Biomedical Named Entity Recognition with Deep Multi-Task Learning [PDF] [arXiv] [bioRxiv] [code]
Xuan Wang, Yu Zhang, Xiang Ren, Yuhao Zhang, Marinka Zitnik, Jingbo Shang, Curtis Langlotz, Jiawei Han.
Bioinformatics. Oxford Academic. Volume 35, Issue 10.

Integrating Local Context and Global Cohesiveness for Open Information Extraction [PDF] [arXiv] [code]
Qi Zhu, Xiang Ren, Jingbo Shang, Yu Zhang, Ahmed El-Kishky, Jiawei Han.
WSDM 2019. Melbourne, VIC, Australia.


PENNER: Pattern-enhanced Nested Named Entity Recognition in Biomedical Literature [PDF]
Xuan Wang*, Yu Zhang*, Qi Li, Cathy H. Wu, Jiawei Han.
BIBM 2018. Madrid, Spain.

Weakly-supervised Relation Extraction by Pattern-enhanced Embedding Learning [PDF] [arXiv] [code]
Meng Qu, Xiang Ren, Yu Zhang, Jiawei Han.
WWW 2018. Lyon, France.

Open Information Extraction with Global Structure Constraints [PDF] [code]
Qi Zhu, Xiang Ren, Jingbo Shang, Yu Zhang, Frank F. Xu, Jiawei Han.
WWW 2018. Lyon, France. (Poster, Best Poster Award Honorable Mention)


RATE: Overcoming Noise and Sparsity of Textual Features in Real-Time Location Estimation [PDF] [code]
Yu Zhang, Wei Wei, Binxuan Huang, Kathleen M. Carley, Yan Zhang.
CIKM 2017. Singapore. (Short)

Top-K Influential Nodes in Social Networks: A Game Perspective [PDF] [Full Version] [code]
Yu Zhang, Yan Zhang.
SIGIR 2017. Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. (Short)

Honors and Awards

2018 WWW 2018 Best Poster Award Honorable Mention
2017 Best Undergraduate Thesis Award, School of EECS, Peking University (10/315)
2017 Outstanding Graduates, Peking University
2017 SIGIR 2017 Student Travel Grants
2016 Kwang-Hua Scholarship
2015 May 4th Scholarship
2014 National Scholarship (Top 1%)
2011/2012 First Prize, National Olympiad in Informatics in Provinces (NOIP)


External Reviewer WWW 2020, DASFAA 2019


I was born and raised in Shanghai.

I like taking MOOCs when I intend to learn something as a beginner. Some MOOCs I have finished: Networks (2015-04), Model Thinking (2015-05), Probability (2015-05), Economics (2018-08).

I played bridge during my high school and undergraduate time. Sometimes I could get a good place.