I’m a PhD student in Brown CS.

My sensei are Stan Zdonik, Seny Kamara, and Tarik Moataz. I also collaborate with Ugur Cetintemel, Carsten Binnig and Tim Kraska in the Database Group, Emanuel Zgraggen in the Graphics Group, and Eli Upfal and Lorenzo De Stefani in the Theory Group.


I am interested in the theories and designs of big data systems that are intelligent and safe. My current study focuses on end-to-end encrypted, provablely secure relational databases (SQL).

In the past, I have also dabbled in constraint learning for puzzle-solving AI, false-discovery control in data science, approximate data structures for visualization, database design on hybrid memory, consistency control for stochastic machine learning algorithms, and searchable encryption on mobile text messaging.

Security and Cryptography

Signal Search.
J. Engelman, S. Kamara, T. Moataz and S. Zhao.
April 2017. [Software]

Data Science

Behavior of Large Random Graph.
Z.Zhao, supervised by Prof. Paul Dupius.
Randomized Algorithms for Counting, Integration and Optimzation, Brown University, April 2017.

Investigating the Effect of the Multiple Comparisons Problem in Visual Analysis.
E. Zgraggen, Z. Zhao, R. Zeleznik, and T. Kraska.
CHI, April 2018. [Video], [Software]

Controlling False Discoveries During Interactive Data Exploration.
Z. Zhao, L. De Stefani, E. Zgraggen, C. Binnig, E. Upfal and T. Kraska.
SIGMOD, May 2017.

Safe Visual Data Exploration.
Z. Zhao, E. Zgraggen, L. De Stefani, C. Binnig, E. Upfal and T. Kraska.
SIGMOD Demo, May 2017.

Towards Sustainable Insights.
C. Binnig, L. De Stefani, T. Kraska, E. Upfal, E. Zgraggen and Z. Zhao.
CIDR, January 2017. [Code]

Towards a Benchmark for Interactive Data Exploration.
P. Eichmann, E. Zgraggen, Z. Zhao, C. Binnig, T. Kraska.
IEEE Data Engineering Bulletin, 2016.

VisTrees: Fast Indexes for Interactive Data Exploration.
M. El-Hindi, Z. Zhao, C. Binnig and T. Kraska.
SIGMOD HILDA, June 2016.


Bridging the Gap between HPC and Big Data frameworks.
M. Anderson, S. Smith, N. Sundaram, M. Capota, Z. Zhao, S. Dulloor, N. Satish and T. Willke.
VLDB, 2017. [Spark performance tool]

Larger-than-memory Data Management on Modern Storage Hardware for In-memory OLTP Database Systems.
L. Ma, J. Arulraj, S. Zhao, A. Pavlo, S. Dulloor, M. Giardino, J. Parkhurst, J. Gardner, K. Doshi and S. Zdonik.
SIGMOD DaMoN, June 2016.

Data Tiering in Heterogeneous Memory Systems.
S. Dulloor, A. Roy, Z. Zhao, N. Sundaram, N. Satish, R. Sankaran, J. Jackson and K. Schwan.
EuroSys, April 2016. [Code]