Zhixuan (Kyrie) Zhou 周稚璇

PhD Student @ UIUC iSchool

google scholar

About Me

I am a PhD student in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (my "official" webpage). My advisor is Dr. Yang Wang. I obtained my Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Hongyi Honor College at Wuhan University, China.

Previously, I was a visiting student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, advised by Dr. Justin Hsu, Fudan University, advised by Dr. Xianghua (Sharon) Ding, and the University of Maryland-College Park, advised by Dr. Furong Huang. I was a research intern at Tencent, Bytedance and Zall Research Institute of Smart Commerce.

Research Interests

My research interests are in usable security and privacy, human-computer interaction (HCI) and machine learning. I combine qualitative and quantitative methods to tackle arising security and privacy risks in machine learning and the Web. I'm also interested in social media research, aiming to create a safe, pleasant and beneficial online space for all. Recently, I'm working on usability, community dynamics and security issues in Blockchain and decentralized finance (DeFi).

Drop me a line if you are also interested in DeFi, social media, software security, adversarial examples, or AI security/privacy/fairness/explainability/ethics research!

At the insistence of my lovely wife, I link to her website.


Current Projects

→ Full list

Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

Joint work with Yang Wang, Tanusree Sharma, and Yun Huang at UIUC

We are recently working on multiple aspects of blockchain, cryptocurrency and DeFi, including security, usability and trust.

Information Seeking and Consumption Practices of Older Adults During COVID-19

Joint work with Yang Wang at UIUC

We conduct semi-structured interviews with older adults in China to understand their information seeking and consumption practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study could inform future information systems design for this group of people.

Awards & Honors

  • Nominee of Hongyi Honor College (2 out of 1128, 0.18%) to run for Top 10 Students of Wuhan University (十大珞珈风云学子), 2020
  • Graduates Committee Member, Hongyi Honor College, 2020-Present
  • Outstanding Graduate, Hongyi Honor College (24 out of 121, 20%), 2020
  • Honorable Mention Award in Mathematical Contest In Modeling (MCM) as Student Advisor, 2019
  • Outstanding Student Certificate, P&G, 2019
  • Special Overseas Scholarships, Wuhan University, 2018 and 2019
  • Outstanding Student Award, Hongyi Honor College, 2018
  • Freshman Scholarship, Wuhan University, 2016


  • I'm a basketball fan (of Lakers!) and played SG/SF for Hongyi Honor College. I once hit seven 3-pointers (7/11) in three games.
  • I'm crazy about Shakespearean Operas and played leading roles in A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Taming of the Shrew.
  • I learned and mastered Chinese Bamboo Flute ("dizi" in Chinese). But I haven't played it for years.
  • I haven't had time for gym since 2019, but I'll go there next week. Trust me!
  • I am a born collaborator. I like working and performing with different people.

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