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Viterbi Faculty Directory

Sean (Xiang) Ren

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Assistant Professor of Computer Science


  • 2017, Doctoral Degree, Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 2015, Master's Degree, Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Xiang Ren is an assistant professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California (USC) with affiliated appointment at USC Information Sciences Institute (ISI). He is also the director of Intelligence and Knowledge Discovery (INK) Research Lab, the Information Director of ACM Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (SIGKDD), and member of USC Machine Learning Center, CAIS Center for AI in Society, and ISI Center on Knowledge Graphs. Priorly, he was a research scholar at Stanford University, and received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Prof. Ren's research leads to a book entitled "Mining Structures of Factual Knowledge from Text: An Effort-Light Approach" and over 50 research publications in top conferences and journals, was covered in over 10 conference tutorials (KDD, WWW, NAACL), received awards including JP Morgan AI Research Award (2019), Amazon Faculty Award (2019), ACM SIGKDD Dissertation Award (2018), WWW Best Poster runner-up (2018), David J. Kuck Outstanding Thesis Award (2017), Google PhD fellowship (2016), Yelp Dataset Challenge Award (2015), and Yahoo!-DAIS Research Excellence Award (2015). Technologies he developed has been transferred to US Army Research Lab, National Institute of Health, Microsoft, Yelp and TripAdvisor.

Research Summary

Xiang Ren's research interests span machine learning, natural language processing, and data mining, with a focus on weak-supervision methods for making sense of massive text data. His research focuses on developing automated and scalable techniques for extracting structured information from massive text data and applying structured knowledge to power intelligent services. He is particularly interested in designing effective computational models for partially- and noisily-labeled data, learning with complex label space, automating knowledge base construction, and knowledge extraction with human in the loop.


  • 2019 Amazon Faculty Research Award
  • 2019 JP Morgan AI Research Award
  • 2018 SIGKDD Doctoral Dissertation Award
  • 2017 University of Illinois David J. Kuck Outstanding M.S. Thesis Award
  • 2017 Google PhD Fellowship
  • 2015 Yahoo!-DAIS Research Excellence Award
  • 2015 C. L. and Jane W.-S. Liu Award
  • 2014 Prostate Cancer DREAM Challenge winner
  • Computer Science

  • SAL 308
  • Henry Salvatori Computer Science Center
  • 941 Bloom Walk, Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 0781

Contact Information
  • (213) 821-4067
  • xiangren@usc.edu


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