Xia (Ben) Hu - Rice D2K Lab Director

WEBSITE(S)| Research Site

Dr. Xia “Ben” Hu is an Associate Professor at Rice University in the Department of Computer Science. He took on the director role of the D2K Lab in June 2022. Before joining the Rice faculty in 2021, Hu was an associate professor of computer science and engineering at Texas A&M where he directed the DATA (Data Analytics at Texas A&M) Lab.

Dr. Hu has published over 100 papers in several major academic venues, including NeurIPS, ICLR, KDD, WWW, IJCAI, AAAI, etc. An open-source package developed by his group, namely AutoKeras, has become the most used automated deep learning system on Github (with over 8,000 stars and 1,000 forks). Also, his work on deep collaborative filtering, anomaly detection and knowledge graphs have been included in the TensorFlow package, Apple production system and Bing production system, respectively. His papers have received severaL Best Paper (Candidate) awards from venues such as WWW, WSDM and ICDM. He is the recipient of NSF CAREER Award. His work has been cited more than 10,000 times with an h-index of 41. He was the conference General Co-Chair for WSDM 2020.


Research Areas

Interpretable Machine Learning, Automated Machine Learning, Network Analytics



  • PhD, Computer Science, Arizona State University (2015)
  • Master's Degree, Computer Science, Beihang University (2009)
  • Bachelor's Degree, Computer Science, Beihang University (2006)


Honors & Awards

  • ACM SIGKDD Rising Star Award, 2021
  • Best Paper Award Candidate, ICDM 2019
  • Best Poster Award, INFORMS 2019
  • Best Student Paper Award Finalist, INFORMS QSR 2019
  • Best Student Paper Award, IISE QCRE 2019
  • Best Paper Award Shortlist, WWW 2019
  • Adobe Data Science Research Award, 2019
  • JP Morgan AI Research Faculty Award, 2019
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2018
  • Best Paper Award, IJCAI BOOM Workshop, 2016
  • Best Paper Award Shortlist, WSDM 2013