Zhiqian Chen

Assistant Professor in Computer Science

Mississippi State University

I will join Computer Science and Engineering Department of Mississippi State University in Fall 2020. Before joining MSU, I have been working as research assistant at Virginia Tech under the supervision of Chang-Tien Lu. My Master Degree is obtained from Peking University and a B.S. from Huazhong University of Science and Technology respectively. I received an outstanding contribution award from Toyota Research North America in 2016. My research focuses on graph mining, spatial data mining, machine learning for natural science, computational art, and explainable AI.

  • Ph.D./PostDoc/Internship openings are available, see here.

  • [Jun. 2020] I will serve on program committee of SIGIR 20’, SIGKDD 20’, NeurlPS 20’.
  • [Mar. 2020] A survey for Graph Neural Networks is online: [preprint]
  • [Dec. 2019] Unsupervised learning for material discovery is published in Nature Communications.
  • [Oct. 2019] The work using graph neural network for circuit deobfuscation is accepted by DATE 2020
  • [Oct. 2019] Solution for dividing school zones is accepted by ACM SIG-SPATIAL and AAAI 2020

Research Topics


Graph Mining

[ with University of Taxes at Dallas, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ]

Today’s deep learning is still a black box. Similarly, graph neural network is another black box. This incurs difficult in comparison and improvement since each method is acclaimed as state-of-the-art. A unified framework is needed to avoid the potential risks, which is our goal.

Materials Discovery

[ with Toyota Research, Illinois Tech ]

Material development heavily relies on domain knowledge and professional’s intuitive, which hinders the discovery of new material. We are collaborating with material experts and propose generative models for boosting material discovery.

Circuit Security and SAT solving

[ with UC Davis, George Manson University ]

Boolean Satisfiability (SAT) problem is a fundamental problem in computer science and the core of many real-world applications such as hardware and software design. However, its solving or estimating hardness of SAT is NP-hard. We are seeking for a series of a methodology by deep learning to significantly accelerate its solving and estimation.

Computational Art

[ with Georgia Tech ]

Computational creativity is a lively research area that focuses on understanding and facilitating human creativity through the implementation of software programs. With the rapid advances in data driven algorithms such as deep learning, the exploration into computational creativity via machine learning approaches have become increasingly popular. Currently, we have been working in music generation and calligraphy.

Spatial Temporal Mining

[ with Virginia Tech ]

Graph neural networks (GNNs) motivate many applications based on network data such as transportation road. However, as a practical scenario, the road has very different characteristics from a smooth network (e.g., social network) often used by GNN experiments. We plan to identify these special features and accordingly adjust GNN to adopt transportation problems.

Recent Publications