Xi He

Faculty Member

Assistant Professor, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo

Canada CIFAR Artificial Intelligence Chair

Xi He’s research focuses on the areas of privacy and security for big data, including the development of usable and trustworthy tools for data exploration and machine learning with provable security and privacy (S&P) guarantees. Rather than patching systems for their S&P issues, Xi’s work takes a principled approach to designing provable S&P requirements and building practical tools that achieve these requirements. Considering S&P as a first-class citizen in system and algorithm design, she has demonstrated new optimization opportunities for these S&P-aware database systems and machine learning tools. She has published in the top database, privacy, and ML conferences, including SIGMOD, VLDB, CCS, PoPets, AAAI, a book on “Differential Privacy for Databases” in Foundations and Trends in Databases, and presented highly regarded tutorials on privacy at VLDB 2016, SIGMOD 2017, and SIGMOD 2021.

Research Interests

  • Privacy for Data Exploration & Machine Learning
  • Differential Privacy
  • Secure Computation
  • Data Cleaning


Visualizing privacy-utility trade-offs in differentially private data releases

Priyanka Nanayakkara and Johes Bater and Xi He and Jessica Hullman and Jennie Rogers


The role of adaptive optimizers for honest private hyperparameter selection

Shubhankar Mohapatra and Sajin Sasy and Xi He and Gautam Kamath and Om Thakkar


Cache me if you can: Accuracy-aware inference engine for differentially private data exploration

Miti Mazmudar and Thomas Humphries and Jiaxiang Liu and Matthew Rafuse and Xi He


Don’t be a tattle-tale: preventing leakages through data dependencies on access control protected data

Primal Pappachan and Shufan Zhang and Xi He and Sharad Mehrotra


MIDE: accuracy aware minimally invasive data exploration for decision support

Sameera Ghayyur and Dhrubajyoti Ghosh and Xi He and Sharad Mehrotra


Transitioning from testbeds to ships: an experience study in deploying the TIPPERS Internet of Things platform to the US Navy

Dave Archer and Michael A August and Georgios Bouloukakis and Christopher Davison and Mamadou H Diallo and Dhrubajyoti Ghosh and Christopher T Graves and Michael Hay and Xi He and Peeter Laud and Steve Lu and Ashwin Machanavajjhala and Sharad Mehrotra and Gerome Miklau and Alisa Pankova and Shantanu Sharma and Nalini Venkatasubramanian and Guoxi Wang and Roberto Yus