College of Engineering Harvard Radcliffe Institute Names Lixin Gao a 2021-2022 Fellow

Lixin Gao

Lixin Gao

Lixin Gao, University Distinguished Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, has been named the 2021–22 Katherine Hampson Bessell Fellow as part of the celebrated Harvard Radcliffe Institute fellowship program. Among 1,383 international applications, only 2.4 percent were accepted as fellows for the Radcliffe program. See Lixin Gao Selected as 2021-22 Radcliffe Fellow.

According to the Radcliffe organization, “Each year, the institute hosts leading scholars, scientists, and artists from around the world in its renowned residential fellowship program. Radcliffe fosters innovative research collaborations and offers hundreds of public lectures, exhibitions, performances, conferences, and other events annually.”

As the UMass News Office release explains, Gao will be “joining an extraordinary group of artists, scientists, scholars, and practitioners who will learn from and inspire one another in a year of discovery and interdisciplinary exchange in Cambridge.”

Gao’s extensive research focuses on data communication networks, multimedia computing, and data-intensive computing.

While at the Radcliffe Institute, Gao will investigate how to perform data analytics on complex networks in a privacy preserving manner, according to the News Office. Performing analytics on the data is crucial but raises privacy concerns for people and organizations.

The key challenge, as Gao explains, is that there is an underlying or hidden structure in the data that forms a complex network, and the network can be exploited to discover private information. Her ultimate goal is to gain a substantially better understanding of the capabilities of privacy preserving computation on data analytics for complex networks.

Among many prominent honors, Gao was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Fellow of the Association of Computing Engineering, both highly selective achievements that are reserved for a small number of outstanding researchers.

Gao has published more than 200 journal and conference publications, which have been cited in total more than 17,700 times. She has an h-index of 58, meaning that she has published 58 articles that have each been cited at least 58 times.

Gao’s research has been supported through numerous external research grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and industry, including the NSF CAREER award and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation award.

Gao earned her B.S.C.S. at the University of Science and Technology of China and her Ph.D. in Computer Science at UMass Amherst. She joined the ECE faculty in 2000 as an associate professor after four years as assistant professor at Smith College and was promoted to full professor in 2007 and distinguished professor in 2018. (June 2021)