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Venkatesh Narayanamurti Chair
Computer Science Department
University of California at Santa Barbara

Ph.D. (2006)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Curriculum Vitae [PDF] [Short Bio]

Affiliation: IEE, INARC, NS-CTA, and ICB

Computer Science Department
Rm 2017, Henley Hall
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5110

xyan [at) cs dot ucsb dot edu
(805) 893-3734

I am a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, a founder and the inventor of PromptDialog, an IDE and DevOps for conversational UI and knowledge grounded AI assistants (Rasa + ChatGPT), and Talk2bits, a chatbot for your data with ChatGPT. 

News (Sept 2023) : Our GauchoChat team has won the overall first-place prize for the Alexa Prize SocialBot Grand Challenge 5 (SGC5) . We found the weakness of the current large language models (LLMs) including ChatGPT and developed techniques, GauchoChat: Towards proactive, controllable, and personalized social conversation that turns a reactive LLM to a proactive one.

News (Aug 2023) : KDD 2023 Research Track Program Chair Report Slides.

News (June 2023) : Our GauchoAI team has won the second-place prize for the Alexa Simbot Challenge. Our approach is summarized in GauchoAI: A proactive modular embodied AI that collaborates with humans.

Data Mining, Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing
RESEARCH PROJECTS  (publications) google scholar | dblp

  • Knowledge Grounded and Controllable Conversational AI (Amazon, PARC)
  • Artificial Intelligence for Healthcare (NSF)
  • Artificial Intelligence for Systems and IoTs
  • Motif Discovery in Massive Protein Sequences (10,000 times faster than MEME)
  • Knowledge Graph Query Processing and Benchmarking (NSF)
  • Graph Information System(NSF)
  • Network Science (ARL)
  • Collaborative Networks (NSF)

    CS165B: Machine Learning (Spring, 2023)
    CS291A: Special Topics in Deep Learning (Winter, 2023)
    CS165A: Artificial Intelligence (Fall, 2022)
    CS291K: Special Topics in Deep Learning (Spring, 2022)
    Previous Courses
    Graduate Students:
    Alon Albalak, Yingrui Yang, Zekun Li, Ross Koval, Weizhi Wang, Sirui Zeng, Xuan Luo, Marina Zhukova (Linguistics, SocialBot)

    Alumni (PhD):  
    Hong Wang (Applied Scientist, Amazon AWS), 2023
    Shiyang Li (Research Scientist, Samsung Research), 2023
    Jing Qian (Research Scientist, Microsoft), 2022
    Zhiyu Chen (Research Scientist, Meta Research), 2022
    Xiaoyong Jin (Applied Scientist, Amazon AWS), 2022
    Hanwen Zha (Research Scientist, Facebook Research), 2021
    Wenhu Chen
    (Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo), 2021
    Keqian Li
    (Research Scientist, Yahoo Research), 2019
    Semih Yavuz (Research Scientist, Salesforce Research), 2019
    Izzeddin Gur
    (Research Scientist, Google Research), 2019
    Bay-Yuan Hsu (Assistant Professor, National Tsinghua Univ.), 2019
    Yu Su (Assistant Professor, Ohio State Univ.), 2018
    Honglei Liu
    (Research Scientist, Facebook), 2017
    Theodore Georgiou (Google), 2017
    Fangqiu Han (Snapchat), 2016
    Huan Sun (Associate Professor, Ohio State Univ.), 2015
    Bo Zong (NEC Labs America), 2015
    Yang Li (Google), 2015
    Shengqi Yang(Research Scientist, Facebook), 2015
    Arijit Khan
    (ETH, now Associate Professor, Aalborg Univ., Denmark), 2013
    Nan Li (oDesk, Apple, now Facebook), 2013
    Gengxin Miao (Google), 2012

    Alumni (PostDoc):
    Shulong Tan
    (Baidu Silicon Valley AI Lab), 2015
    Yinghui Wu (Assistant Professor, Washington State Univ.), 2014
    Ying Tang (Associate Professor at Chengdu University of Technology), 2014
    Ziyu Guan (Professor, Northwest University, China), 2012

    Alumni (MS): Rajan Saini (BS/MS, Google), Aaron Jimenez (MS), Reeva Mishra (Microsoft, 2023,  reevamishra.com), Apoorva Jakalannanavar Halappa Manjula (Roku, 2022), Krishna Gudipati (TruckX, 2021), Benu Changmai (Amazon, 2021), Xiyou Zhou (OctoML, 2020), Yuxiao Zhang (2020), Hongmin Wang(Microsoft, 2020), Mu Xu (Facebook, 2019), Dong-Anh Nguyen (Google, 2017), Tianyu Wu (Google, 2016), Anastasiya Lazareva (Element Analytics, 2016), Alex Morales (UIUC, 2014), Nadav Caspi (Microsoft, 2014), Chen Liu (Oracle, 2013), Matt Weiden (HRL, 2012), Lei Zhao (LinkedIn, 2011), Russell McLoughlin (LLNL, 2010)
    Alumni (Undergraduate):
    Xiyue Wang (Columbia, 2023), Xuan Luo (UCSB, 2022), Ari Polakof (Appfolio, GaTech 2022), Nuan Wen (USC, 2019), Yunkai Zhang (UC Berkeley, 2018), Alexander Wood (UCLA, 2014), Lijia Hong (CMU, 2012)
    Alumni (Highschool): Andy Jin (Stanford, 2018)


    1. Program Co-chair: 2023 ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (SIGKDD'23)
    2. Test of Time Award at VLDB 2022
    3. Distinguished Paper Award at PLDI 2022
    4. Best of ICDM 2019 Selection
    5. Program Co-chair: 2019 SIAM International Conference on Data Mining (SDM'19)
    6. ICDE 2013 Best Poster Award
    7. SIGKDD Best Student Paper Award, 2012
    8. IEEE ICDM 10-year Highest Impact Paper Award, 2011
    9. NSF Career Award, 2010
    10. The Venkatesh Narayanamurti Chair, Univ. of California at Santa Barbara, 2008-present
    11. ACM-SIGMOD Dissertation Award Honorable Mention, 2007
    12. Best Student Paper, Proc. of 2007 Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (PAKDD), 2007 
    13. Best Student Paper, Proc. of 2007 IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE), 2007
    14. Excellent Teaching Assistant Award, CS Dept., Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003, 2004
    15. Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, CS Dept., SUNY at Stony Brook, 2001

    Last Modified: July 10, 2022