Multiple NSF Awards Fund Jie Gao’s Algorithm Research


The is one of the most prestigious organizations in the American science realm. With its dedication to supporting colleges throughout the nation, the NSF continues to help advance computer science research at Stony Brook University.

is the latest Stony Brook faculty member to earn not one, but two awards from the NSF. Gao has been awarded $250,000 for the (Research in Networking Technology & Systems) along with $100,000 for the Algorithms for Threat Detection (ATD).

“We at the computer science department are very proud of Jie for her exceptional work,” Samir Das, interim chair of the CS department, said. “Serving as one of the lead women researchers, we hope these grants push her forward as she continues to make a difference not only at Stony Brook, but nationally and internationally.”

L-R, Jie Gao and grad students from the Algorithm Lab

The ATD grant was awarded to Gao for her project entitled, Theory and Algorithms for Discrete Curvatures on Network Data from Human Mobility and Monitoring.

The focus of the project, “is on developing mathematical tools and algorithms for understanding community structures and anomalies in human mobility data that can be of crucial value in many applications.”

“The cool thing about this project is to use geometric features, such as the Ollivier Ricci curvature for graph analysis and we believe that this has a huge potential,” Gao said about the ATD project.

Gao wants to “extract stable groups in human mobility patterns to serve as the traffic norm for detecting the abnormal patterns that can be tied to criminal or terrorism events” as part of the project. In doing so, she will also “examine how information can spread among the mobile users by exploiting their physical colocation events.”

As part of the project graduate students and postdoctoral fellows will receive training and Gao will disseminate results through lectures and conference presentations. In the end software will be developed for practical use.

Gao’s newly awarded NeTS grant from the NSF is also underway. This research seeks to increase privacy protection, an urgent matter with wide impact. Through the use of NeTS funding, new models will be developed to characterize the performance of algorithms in terms of privacy protection effectiveness and data utility.

“We are concerned about the privacy issues in trajectory data collected by wireless devices in an open environment and would like to propose new algorithms to remove the sensitive information while still enabling the mining of useful statistical information for applications,” Gao explained about the NeTS award.


About the researcher

Jie Gao is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science. She earned a PhD from Stanford University and her research focuses on algorithms, computational geometry, and networks (sensor, wireless, and social).  Gao spent a year at the Center for the Mathematics of Information at the California Institute of Technology. She is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award and IBM Fellowship. In addition to the ATD and NeTS projects, Gao is also working with students on a number of social contagion and influence studies which examine behavioral changes and influence.

- Author: Joseph Wolkin

-Photo credit: @SiobhansPix