About Me

Who Am I?

I am currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology and a faculty co-hire in the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences at Pennsylvania State University since August 2019. I received my PhD degree from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2019. My advisor was Prof. Jing Gao. Before that, I obtained M.S. and B.S. from Dalian University of Technology in China.

My research interests broadly are data mining and machine learning, including healthcare data mining, deep learning, natural language processing, security, large language models (LLM), and multimodal large language models (MLLM).

Openings: I am looking for motivated students (including PhDs, masters, and interns) working in healthcare data mining, machine learning, natural language processing, and vision language. If you are interested in joining my group, please send me your CV.

Current Projects

  • NSF IIS -- Small: Towards Efficient Adaptive Federated Learning: Algorithms, Theories, and Applications, 2024-2027, $600K, Co-PI
  • CTSI Bridges to Translation IX Pilot Award -- Fairness-aware Federated Learning for Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer Using Multimodal Electronic Health Records, 2024-2025, $50K, PI
  • NSF ITE -- Proto-OKN Theme 1: A Knowledge Graph Warehouse for Neighborhood Information, 2023-2026, $1.5M, Co-PI
  • NSF IIS -- Career: Automated Multimodal Learning for Healthcare, 2023-2028, $555,752, Sole PI.
  • NIH R01 -- SCH: AI-Enhanced Multimodal Sensor-on-a-chip for Alzheimer's Disease Detection, 2022-2026, $1.2M, Lead PI
  • NSF SaTC -- Understanding and Mitigating the Security Risks of AutoML, 2022-2024, $500K, PI
  • News

    • Jun 2024: Dr. Ma received an NSF grant to support the research on adaptive federated learning. Thanks NSF!
    • May 2024: One paper was accepted by ECML-PKDD on multimodal federated learning with incomplete modalities!
    • May 2024: One paper was accepted by ACL 2024, and two papers were accepted by KDD 2024!
    • May 2024: One paper was accepted by ICML 2024 on federated learning!
    • Apr 2024: Our survey paper "Recent Advances in Predictive Modeling with Electronic Health Records" was accepted by IJCAI 2024!
    • Mar 2024: One paper was accepted by the SIGIR 2024 industry track on clinical trial retrieval!
    • Mar 2024: Dr. Ma received a Penn State CTSI Bridges to Translation IX Pilot Award to support the research on pancreatic cancer with federated learning!
    • Mar 2024: Two full papers were accepted by SIGIR 2024 on recommendation systems!
    • Mar 2024: Congratulations Jiaqi for receiving the IST Ph.D. Student Award for Research Excellence, the highest honor for IST graduate students in research!
    • Mar 2024: One paper was accepted by the Journal of Health Psychology!
    • Feb 2024: Congratulations, Muchao and Junyu, for defending their Ph.D. theses! Muchao will join the Department of Computer Science at The University of Iowa as a tenure-track assistant professor, and Junyu will join TikTok!
    • Feb 2024: Our tutorial, "Heterogeneity in Federated Learning", led by Jiaqi Wang, was accepted by PAKDD 2024!
    • Feb 2024: One paper was accepted by LREC-COLING 2024 on automated ICD coding!
    • Jan 2024: One paper was accepted by PAKDD 2024 on personalized federated learning!
    • Jan 2024: One paper was accepted by CHI 2024!
    • Dec 2023: One paper was accepted by PerCom 2024 on sleep apnea detection!
    • Dec 2023: Two papers were accepted by SDM 2024 on EHR data generation with diffusion models and automated machine learning for risk prediction.
    • Dec 2023: Four papers were accepted by AAAI 2024! Congratulations to all collaborators!
    • Nov 2023: Our tutorial, "Heterogeneity in Federated Learning", led by Jiaqi Wang, was accepted by SDM 2024!
    • Oct 2023: Congratulations, Jiaqi, Ziyi, and Muchao, on receiving the NeurIPS 2023 Scholar Award!
    • Oct 2023: One paper was accepted by ACM TOIS on session-based recommendation!
    • Oct 2023: One paper was accepted by EMNLP 2023 (main conference) on hierarchical pretraining using multimodal EHR data!
    • Sep 2023: One paper was accepted by the Journal of Biomedical Informatics on health risk prediction!
    • Sep 2023: One survey paper was accepted by the Rare Disease and Orphan Drugs Journal on federated learning for rare disease detection!
    • Sep 2023: Five papers were accepted by NeurIPS on federated learning and safety in machine learning!
    • Sep 2023: Dr. Ma received an NSF grant to support the research on building a knowledge graph warehouse for neighborhood information. Thanks NSF!
    • Aug 2023: One paper was accepted by TKDE on multimodal session-based recommendation!
    • Aug 2023: Three papers were accepted by CIKM!
    • Aug 2023: Our invited survey paper on multimodal federated learning was accepted by Sensors!
    • Jul 2023: One paper is accepted by Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing on hate speech detection!
    • May 2023: Dr. Ma received the Artificial Intelligence and Biomedical Informatics (AIBI) Pilot Funding!
    • May 2023: One paper is accepted by KDD 2023 on hard-label black-box attack on text!
    • May 2023: One paper is accepted by IJERPH on mobile healthcare data mining!
    • May 2023: One paper is accepted by USENIX Security 2023 on knowledge graph reasoning!
    • Apr 2023: One paper is accepted by JBHI on online healthcare community analysis!
    • Apr 2023: One paper is accepted by IJCAI 2023 on decision-based black-box attacks!
    • Mar 2023: Dr. Ma received the NSF Career Award to support the research on automated multimodal learning for healthcare. Thanks NSF!
    • Feb 2023: One paper is accepted by TOCHI on chatbot-based symptom checker self-diagnosis!
    • Jan 2023: One paper is accepted by CHI 2023 on AutoML security!
    • Dec 2022: One paper is accepted by SDM 2023 on semi-supervised federated learning!
    • Nov 2022: Two papers are accepted by AAAI 2023 on adversarial attacks on text data and few-shot text classification!
    • Oct 2022: Three papers are accepted by BIBM 2022 on AutoML-based health risk prediction (regular), sleep stage prediction (regular) and health risk prediction model robustness (short)!
    • Aug 2022: Two papers are accepted by ICDM 2022 on health risk prediction (regular) and knowledge concept prerequisite learning (short)!
    • Aug 2022: Dr. Ma (lead PI) received an NIH R01 project (4 years, $1.2M) to support the research on early detection of Alzheimer's disease!
    • Aug 2022: Two papers are accepted by Coling 2022 on clinical language simplification and medical dialogue!
    • Aug 2022: Dr. Ma received an NSF award on understanding and mitigating the security risks of AutoML!
    • Jul 2022: One paper is accepted by BHI 2022 on sleep stage classification!
    • Jul 2022: One paper is accepted by SECON 2022 on contactless authentication with deep learning!
    • Jun 2022: One paper is accepted by ECML PKDD 2022 on COVID-19 vaccine side effect prediction using federated learning!
    • May 2022: One paper is accepted by KDD 2022 on hard-label adversarial attacks on text data!
    • Mar 2022: One paper is accepted by SIGIR 2022 on session-based recommendation!
    • Mar 2022: One paper is accepted by Information Processing & Management on session-based recommendation!
    • Dec 2021: One paper is accepted by SDM 2022 on online student learning!
    • Dec 2021: One paper is accepted by AAAI 2022 on hard-label adversarial attacks on text data!
    • Oct 2021: One paper is accepted by Bigdata 2021 on semi-supervised federated learning!
    • Aug 2021: One paper is accepted by Findings of EMNLP 2021 on paraphrase identification!
    • Aug 2021: Congratulations Guanjie for defending his Ph.D. thesis this summer!
    • Aug 2021: One paper is accepted by CIKM 2021 on health risk prediction with unstructured medical text!
    • Jul 2021: One paper is accepted by WACV 2022 on audio visual scene-aware dialog!
    • Jun 2021: One paper is accepted by AMIA 2021 on diagnosis prediction!
    • Jun 2021: One paper is accepted by ECML-PKDD 2021 on sleep apnea detection!
    • May 2021: One paper is accepted by KDD 2021 on fake news detection!
    • May 2021: Our tutorial titled "Advances in Mining Heterogeneous Healthcare Data" is accepted by KDD 2021!
    • May 2021: One paper is accepted by ACL 2021 main conference on medical report generation, and the other is accepted by Findings of ACL 2021 on automated ICD coding!
    • Apr 2021: One paper is accepted by IJCAI 2021 on drug recommendation!
    • Apr 2021: Dr. Ma was invited to serve in the PCs of AMIA 2021, NeurIPS 2021, CIKM 2021, and WISE 2021.
    • Mar 2021: Dr. Ma received the 2020 Sony Research Award on semi-supervised federated learning!
    • Feb 2021: One paper is accepted by Expert Systems with Applications on hospital readmission prediction!
    • Jan 2021: Two papers are accepted by WWW 2021! Both are on health risk prediction. One is to use knowledge graph paths, the other is to incoporate public health data.
    • Dec 2020: One paper is accepted by SDM 2021!
    • Dec 2020: Dr. Ma was invited to serve in the PC of KDD 2021 and CVPR 2021.
    • Dec 2020: One paper is accepted by AAAI 2021!
    • Aug 2020: One paper is accepted by ICDM 2020 (regular paper)!
    • Aug 2020: Dr. Ma was invited to serve in the SPC of AAAI 2021 and PC of Bigdata 2020.
    • Jul 2020: Two papers are accepted by CIKM 2020! One is on risk prediction in healthcare, and the other is on knowledge graph validation.
    • Jul 2020: Dr. Ma was invited to serve on the program committee of SDM 2021.
    • May 2020: Three papers are accepted by KDD 2020!
    • May 2020: One paper on hospital readmissions prediction is accepted by Knowledge-Based Systems!
    • May 2020: Dr. Ma (PI, Co-PIs: Drs. Sharon Huang, Prasenjit Mitra, and Vasant Honavar) received a one-year seed grant from ICDS & IST at Penn State.
    • Feb 2020: Dr. Ma (PI, Co-PI: Dr. Sharon Huang) received a one-year seed grant from IST at Penn State.
    • Jan 2020: Dr. Ma was invited to serve on the program committee of AMIA 2020.
    • Jan 2020: Dr. Ma was invited to serve on the program committee of KDD 2020.
    • Jan 2020: One paper on human activity recognition is accepted by IMWUT (UbiComp 2020)!
    • Dec 2019: One paper on rare disease prediction is accepted by SDM 2020!
    • Nov 2019: One paper on weakly-supervised fake news detection is accepted by AAAI 2020!
    • Oct 2019: Two papers are accepted by IEEE Big Data 2019! One is on crowdsourcing aggregation, and the other is on federated multitask learning!
    • Oct 2019: Our tutorial "Learning with small data" is accepted by WSDM 2020!
    • Oct 2019: Honored to receive the 2018/2019 UB CSE Ph.D. Dissertation Competition Runner-up!
    • Oct 2019: One paper on pothole profiling with a reliability-aware vehicular crowdsensing system is accepted by IMWUT (UbiComp 2020)!
    • Sep 2019: One paper on remote and through-wall screen attack via mmWave sensing is accepted by S&P 2020!


    Data
    Mining

    Machine
    Learning

    Artificial
    Intelligence

    Healthcare
    Informatics