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Daphne Yao

Daphne Yao Headshot

Current University
Virginia Tech

Research Focus
System and software security, enterprise data security, deployable security

Danfeng (Daphne) Yao is a professor of computer science at Virginia Tech. Her research interests include building cyber defenses, as well as machine learning for digital health, with a shared focus on accuracy and deployment. She creates new models, algorithms, techniques, and deployment-quality tools for securing large-scale software and systems. Her tool CryptoGuard helps large software companies and Apache projects harden their cryptographic code. She systematized program anomaly detection in the book Anomaly Detection as a Service.

Yao is the ACM SIGSAC Vice Chair and has been a member of the ACM SIGSAC executive committee since 2017. She is an Elizabeth and James E. Turner Jr. '56 Faculty Fellow and CACI Faculty Fellow. 

She is an Elizabeth and James E. Turner Jr. '56 Faculty Fellow and CACI Faculty Fellow.  Her patents on anomaly detection are extremely influential in the industry, cited by patents from major cybersecurity firms and technology companies, including FireEye, Symantec, Qualcomm, Cisco, IBM, SAP, Boeing, and Palo Alto Networks. Yao received the prestigious ACM CODASPY Lasting Research Award in 2021 for pioneering research contributions sustained for two decades in enterprise data exposure detection, high-precision vulnerability screening, and anomaly detection. In 2018, she was named an ACM Distinguished Scientist. Previously, she received the NSF CAREER Award and ARO Young Investigator Award. 

Alma Mater
Yao received her Ph.D. in computer science from Brown University, M.S. in chemistry from Princeton University, M.S in computer science from Indiana University Bloomington, and a B.S. in chemistry from Peking University, China.