bio photo

Sharon Yixuan Li

Assistant Professor
Department of Computer Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Madison

  G. Scholar LinkedIn Github Twitter e-Mail


I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Previously I was as a postdoc researcher in the Computer Science department at Stanford University, working with Chris Ré. I completed my PhD from Cornell University in 2017, where I was fortunate to be advised by John E. Hopcroft. I have received Facebook Research Award, JPMorgan early-career faculty award, and was named Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science. I am currently a faculty fellow at the Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence (MTLE) program.

My broad research interests are in deep learning, a branch of machine learning. My time in both academia and industry has shaped my view and approach in research. My research develops algorithms and fundamental understandings to enable reliable open-world learning, which can function safely and adaptively in the presence of evolving and unpredictable data stream. Research topics that I am currently focusing on include:

  • Learning and inference under distribution shift;
  • Open-world machine learning;
  • Human-centered machine learning.

  • News

    5/15/2022: 4 papers accepted by ICML, congratulations to the team!
    4/15/2022: Received ICLR Outstanding Paper Award Honorable Mention.
    3/30/2022: Will serve as an area chair for NeurIPS 2022.
    3/21/2022: Will be co-organizing ICML'22 workshop on Distribution-free Uncertainty Quantification.
    3/4/2022: Received gift funding from Adobe Research.
    3/1/2022: Paper on unknown-aware object detection accepted by CVPR 2022 as an oral presentation.
    1/20/2022: Two papers accepted by ICLR 2022,including one oral presentation (1.6%).
    12/3/2021: Will serve as an area chair for ICML 2022.
    12/1/2021: Two papers on OOD detection accepted by AAAI 2022 as oral presentations.
    11/1/2021: Received Facebook Research Award.
    10/25/2021: Received gift funding from Google Brain.
    10/22/2021: We released a comprehensive survey on generalized OOD detection.
    10/18/2021: Received gift funding from Facebook.
    10/17/2021: Research is featured in Fueling Discovery by Wisconsin State Journal.
    9/28/2021: Three papers on out-of-distribution detection accepted to NeurIPS 2021. Congrats to the team!
    7/22/2021: Paper on frequency-domain image translation (FDIT) accepted to ICCV 2021.
    7/15/2021: Received Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence Fellowship.
    6/18/2021: Paper on outlier mining for out-of-distribution detection is accepted to ECML 2021.
    6/4/2021: Received JPMorgan Chase early career outstanding faculty award.
    6/2021: Received American Family Funding Intiative Awards.
    4/4/2021: Will be co-organizing two ICML'21 workshops on uncertainty quantification.
    2/28/2021: Two papers on OOD detection accepted to CVPR 2021 (including one oral presentation).
    1/12/2021: Paper on Model Patching (for handling subgroup shift) accepted to ICLR 2021.
    10/28/2020: Will serve as a mentor at the Women in Machine Learning (WiML) workshop at NeurIPS 2020.
    9/25/2020: Paper on Energy-based Out-of-distribution Detection accepted to NeurIPS 2020.
    8/17/2020: Joined the CS Department at UW-Madison as an Assistant Professor. Here is a featured interview article.
    05/19/2020: Gave an invited talk on Out-of-distribution Uncertainty Estimation and Robustness in Open-World Machine Learning at Air Force Research Laboratory’s Workshop.
    4/23/2020: Selected Young Researcher to participate in the 8th Heidelberg Laureate Forum.
    3/14/2020: Will serve as Program Chair for ICML'20 workshop on Uncertainty and Robustness in Deep Learning.
    12/3/2019: My talk is listed as one of 30 Influential AI Presentations in 2019.
    12/3/2019: Honored and thrilled to be featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 list in Science.
    3/8/2019: Honored to be featured in 30 Under 30 Leading Women in AI.
    2/24/2019: Paper on KNN-based robustness accepted as an oral presentation at CVPR 2019.
    2/24/2019: Will serve as Program Chair for ICML'19 workshop on Uncertainty and Robustness in Deep Learning.
    1/2019: Gave a talk at Deep Learning Summit San Francisco .

    [Openings]: I am looking for highly motivated Ph.D. and M.S. students to join my lab. The admission decision at UW-Madison is committee-based. For questions regarding the application process, please read the FAQ.


  • Program chair: ICML workshop on Uncertainty and Robustness in Deep Learning (UDL) 2019 & 2020.
  • Area chair and senior program committee: NeurIPS, ICLR, ICML and AAAI.
  • Co-organizer: ICML workshop on Uncertainty and Robustness in Deep Learning (UDL) 2021.
  • Co-organizer: ICML workshop on Distribution-free Uncertainty Quantification (DFUQ) 2021.
  • Co-organizer: ICML workshop on Distribution-free Uncertainty Quantification (DFUQ) 2022.

  • [Recent/upcoming talks]:

  • 10/2022: Keynote at ECCV workshop on Learning from Limited and Imperfect Data (L2ID)
  • 7/2022: Invited talk at ICML'22 DataPerf Workshop
  • 3/2022: Talk at UT-Austin
  • 3/9/2022: AI Seminar at Oregon State University
  • 2/10/2022: Anomaly Detection for Scientific Discovery (AD4SD) Seminar [Recording]
  • 12/2021: NeurIPS'21 workshop on ImageNet: past, present, and future
  • 12/1/2021: PhysicsMeetsML seminar
  • 9/28/2021: Future of Data-Centric AI virtual event
  • 8/27/2021: Talk at Facebook
  • 8/21/2021: Keynote @ Artificial Intelligence for Anomalies and Novelties (AI4AN 2021)
  • 8/22/2021: Keynote @ Weakly-supervised Representation Learning (WSRL 2021 workshop)
  • 8/2/2021: IFDS workshop on Statistical Approaches to Understanding Modern ML Methods
  • 4/27/2021: MINDS & CIS Seminar at John Hopkins University
  • 4/17/2021: Women in Scientific Education and Research (WISER) at UW-Madison
  • 4/1/2021: Open Data Science Conference (ODSC) East 2021
  • 11/4/2020: Women in Computer Science (WiCS) Seminar at Stanford
  • 10/30/2020: Information Systems Seminar at UC Berkeley
  • 10/28/2020: SILO Seminar at UW-Madison. [Recording]
  • 9/21/2020: MLOS Seminar at UW-Madison+Microsoft. [Recording]

  • [Teaching]:

  • Spring 2022: CS540 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence .
  • Fall 2021: CS762 Advanced Deep Learning
  • Spring 2021: CS540 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence .
  • Fall 2020: CS839 Advanced Topics in Deep Learning (a newly developed graduate-level course).

  • Misc
    I travel and occasionally take photos. Here is my pictorial Travel Memo. This is the treasure I shoot with.