Welcome to my webpage!
I am an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg. I was born in Tianjin, China (many years ago). I received my Computer Science Ph.D. degree from Brown University. I also studied at Princeton University and IU, Bloomington. You can find a bit more about my previous work on this page.
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Ph.D. Brown University, Computer Science
M.S. Indiana University, Bloomington, Computer Science
M.A. Princeton University, Chemistry
B.S. Peking University, Chemistry
Daphne Yao is an Elizabeth and James E. Turner Jr. '56 Faculty Fellow and L-3 Faculty Fellow.
Dr. Yao received the NSF CAREER Award in 2010 for her work on human-behavior driven malware detection, and most recently ARO Young Investigator Award for her semantic reasoning for mission-oriented security work in 2014. She received the Outstanding New Assistant Professor Award from Virginia Tech College of Engineering in 2012. Dr. Yao has several Best Paper Awards (e.g., ICICS '06, CollaborateCom '09, and ICNP '12) and Best Poster Awards (e.g., ACM CODASPY '15).
She was given the Award for Technological Innovation from Brown University in 2006. She held a U.S. patent for her anomaly detection technologies.
Dr. Yao is involved in over $8 million federal and industrial fundings, with $3.8 million personal share (as of July 2017).
She has graduated 8 PhD students and 5 MS thesis students. 4 of her former PhD students or postdocs are tenure-track faculty members.
Dr. Yao is an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing (TDSC). She serves as PC members in numerous top computer security conferences, including ACM CCS and IEEE Security & Privacy Symposium. She has over 85 peer-reviewed publications in major security and privacy conferences and journals.
What do you enjoy about Computer Science?
Daphne: Algorithmic thinking, where one can solve a complex problem step-by-step, is what I enjoy most about computer science. Algorithms are both elegant and empowering. Interesting, I found that being able to think and reason algorithmically is a useful life skill as well. It has helped me sort out many messy situations.
What are your personal interests?
Daphne: I love spending time with my brilliant daughter, Radia. Radia and I enjoy singing, karaoke style. Singing is very therapeutic, an effective stress reducer. My daughter is a better singer than I am, I am glad.
Radia also took this photo of me at Busch Garden, Williamsburg. Love it!
I also started reading several years ago. I found a used copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo at a local Goodwill store and got hooked on reading since then. I finished reading the fourth book in this series, which has a fascinating plot built around AI and hacking.
What are your interest areas in Computer Science?
Daphne: System security is my current focus. I design methods and develop tools to ensure the runtime integrity of machines and programs. Security research is fun and dramatic, because of the (indirect) interactions and dynamics between attackers and defenders.
How did you get involved in Computer Science?
Daphne: Natural sciences have always been my favorite subjects. I was a Chemistry Ph.D. student in Princeton University in 1999, doing organic synthesis and immunoassay. Because of the Dot-Com boom, everyone around me was taking classes from the Computer Science Department. I took an amazing Discrete Math course from Professor Andrew Chi-Chih Yao, and the rest is history.