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!




  • Huimin Zeng, Zhixuan Zhou, Jiahao Su, and Furong Huang, "Certified Defense of Adversarial Examples via Latent Space Encoding," in preparation.

  • Zhixuan Zhou, Xianghua Ding, Xinru Tang, and Yunan Chen, "Practical Integration of Foodshow into Everyday Life: A Study of Foodshow Watching on Video Sharing Platforms," in submission to CSCW.

  • Xinru Tang, Xianghua Ding, and Zhixuan Zhou, "Active Entertainment and Beyond: A Study of the Use of Short Video Platforms among Older Adults," in submission to CSCW.


  • Meghana Moorthy Bhat and Zhixuan Zhou, "Fake News Detection via NLP Becomes Harder," in 14th Women in Machine Learning Workshop (WiML) co-located with NeurIPS, Vancouver, Canada.

  • Zhixuan Zhou, Huankang Guan, Meghana Moorthy Bhat, and Justin Hsu, "Fake News Detection via NLP is Vulnerable to Adversarial Attacks," in 11th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence (ICAART), Prague, Czech Republic. [Paper] [Slides]

  • Zhiguo Zhou, Huiyu Cai, and Zhixuan Zhou, "An Analysis of Pedestrians' Behavior in Emergency Evacuation Using Cellular Automata Simulation," in IEEE 17th International Conference on Smart City (SmartCity), Zhangjiajie, China.

Current Projects

→ Full list

Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

Joint work with Yang Wang at UIUC

We research incentive designs of DeFi projects. We also research security and privacy practices of smart contract developers.

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.

Misinformation Sharing Preferences of Social Media Users

Joint work with Lan Jiang at UIUC

We identify the correlation between user profiles and misinformation sharing preferences, as a first step toward improving misinformation classifiers.

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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