Dr. Grace Hui Yang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Georgetown University. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. Grace’s current research interests include privacy-preserving information retrieval, particularly online information exposure detection that predicts the vulnerability for common Web activities and warns users about the sensitivity of their activities before they make innocent moves. Her research interests also include dynamic search, search engine evaluation, information organization and ontology construction. Prior to this, Grace has worked on question answering, near-duplicate detection, multimedia information retrieval, and opinion and sentiment detection. Grace is a recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award. Grace co-organized the privacy workshop in SIGIR 2014 and SIGIR 2015. Homepage:


Dr. Ian Soboroff is a computer scientist and leader of the Retrieval Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The Retrieval Group organizes the Text REtrieval Conference (TREC), the Text Analysis Conference (TAC), and the TREC Video Retrieval Evaluation (TRECVID). These are all large, community-based research workshops that drive the state-of-the-art in information retrieval, video search, web search, information extraction, text summarization and other areas of information access. He has co-authored many publications in information retrieval evaluation, test collection building, text filtering, collaborative filtering, and intelligent software agents. His current research interests include building test collections for social media environments and nontraditional retrieval tasks. Ian co-organized the privacy workshop in SIGIR 2015. Homepage:


Dr. Li Xiong is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Emory University where she directs the Assured Information Management and Sharing (AIMS) research group. She holds a PhD from Georgia Institute of Technology, an MS from Johns Hopkins University, and a BS from University of Science and Technology of China, all in Computer Science. She also worked as a software engineer in IT industry for several years prior to pursuing her doctorate. Her areas of research are in data privacy and security, distributed and spatio-temporal data management, and health informatics. She has published about 80 papers in peer reviewed journals and conferences with two best paper awards. She is a recent recipient of the Career Enhancement Fellowship by Woodrow Wilson Foundation. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the National Institute of Health (NIH), and industry awards including Cisco Research Award and IBM Faculty Innovation Award.


Dr. Charles L.A. Clarke is a Professor in the School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, Canada. His research interests include search, information retrieval, and text data mining. He has published on a wide range of topics, including papers related to question answering, filesystem search, search security, search interfaces, user modeling, statistical natural language processing, and the evaluation of search systems. He is a co-author of the book Information Retrieval: Implementing and Evaluating Search Engines, MIT Press, 2010. In addition, he has held a number of software development and consulting positions across industry.


Dr. Simson L. Garfinkel is a Computer Scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Information Access Division. Garfinkel’s research interests include digital forensics, usable security, data fusion, information policy and terrorism. He is the author of the book Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century (O?Reilly, 2000) and the co-author of the book Usable Security: History, Themes, and Challenges. (Morgan & Claypool, 2014.)

Student Organizers

Sicong Zhang is a PhD student working with Prof. Grace Hui Yang. His current research focus includes Privacy-preserving Information Retrieval and Session Search. Sicong was involved in the privacy workshop in SIGIR 2014 as a student organizer.