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Sharon Yixuan Li

Assistant Professor
Department of Computer Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Office: CS5393

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I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin Madison. I am a member of machine learning@uw-madison and a faculty affiliate with the Data Science Institute. Previously I was as a postdoc researcher in the Computer Science department at Stanford University, working with the Hazy Group. I completed my PhD from Cornell University in 2017, where I was fortunate to be advised by John E. Hopcroft. My research aims at bringing AI systems to the level where they are not only intelligent, but also safe and beneficial for humanity. In particular, my research focuses on algorithmic and theoretical foundations to enable machine learning models operating reliably in the wild, by detecting out-of-distribution data and learning new structures therein. These days, I am also fascinated by understanding behaviors of advanced intelligent systems such as large language models, and aligning them effectively with human desire.


9/12/2023: Honored to be named "Innovator of the Year" by MIT Technology Review.
7/19/2023: Yiyou defended his thesis - congratulations Dr. Sun!
6/26/2023: Received funding from ONR to support OOD detection research - thanks ONR!
6/21/2023: Received NSF CAREER Award.
4/24/2023: 3 papers accepted by ICML. Congratulations team!
2/11/2023: Xuefeng received the inaugural Jane Street Graduate Research Fellowship.
1/20/2023: CIDER and NPOS (Non-parametric Outlier Synthesis) accepted by ICLR 2023.
12/14/2022: Grateful to receive the AFOSR Young Investigator (YIP) Award.
11/21/2022: Received NeurIPS Outstanding Paper Award.
11/11/2022: Excited to receive funding from Center for Advancing Safety of Machine Intelligence (CASMI), and partner on safe AI research.
11/2022: Received Google-Initiated Research Grant.
9/14/2022: 4 papers accpeted to NeurIPS 2022 and 1 paper accepted to NeurIPS 2022 Datasets and Benchmarks Track. Congrats to the team and co-authors!
8/26/2022: Received Amazon Research Award.
6/8/2022: Received American Family Funding Intiative Award.
5/15/2022: 4 papers accepted by ICML, congratulations to the team!
4/15/2022: Received ICLR Outstanding Paper Award Honorable Mention.

[Openings]: I am looking for creative and curiosity-driven minds to join my lab, with fully funded positions. The admission decision at UW-Madison is committee-based. For questions regarding the application process, please see the FAQ. I highly recommend reading my [Advising Statement] before you apply or email me.


  • Program chair and founding organizer: 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: WiML Un-Workshop on Uncertainty Estimation, 2021.
  • Co-organizer: ICML Workshop on Distribution-free Uncertainty Quantification (DFUQ), 2022.
  • Co-organizer: NeurIPS Workshop on Robustness in Sequence Modeling, 2022.
  • Co-organizer: ICCV Tutorial on Reliability of Deep Learning for Real-World Deployment, 2023.

  • [Talks & Panels]:

  • 12/7/2023: Talk at Machine Learning Lunch Meeting (MLLM) at UW-Madison
  • 11/6/2023: Invited talk at TEDxUWMadison
  • 10/9/2023: Invited talk at Vanderbilt Machine Learning Seminar
  • 10/3/2023: Invited talk at ICCV'23 BRAVO Workshop
  • 10/2/2023: Invited talk at ICCV'23 AROW Workshop
  • 8/16/2023: Invited talk at University of Queensland Data Science Seminar
  • 7/28/2023: Mentor at Women in Machine Learning (WiML) Workshop
  • 6/30/2023: Panelist of AI from Foundations to Applications hosted by UW-Madison
  • 6/18/2023: Invited talk at CVPR'23 Workshop on Anomaly Detection
  • 5/6/2023: Invited talk at MIT conference on MI and AI safety
  • 4/14/2023: Invited talk at Computer Vision Round Table (CVRT) at UW-Madison
  • 4/12/2023: Invited talk at KAUST computer vision group
  • 2/10/2023: Invited talk at Cornell AI Seminar
  • 2/7/2023: Talk at Machine Learning Lunch Meeting (MLLM) at UW-Madison
  • 2/2/2023: Invited talk at American Family Insurance
  • 1/27/2023: Invited talk at Wisconsin Science and Computing Emerging Research Stars (WISCERS) Workshop
  • 12/14/2022: Invited guest lecture at NYU
  • 12/8/2022: Invited talk at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • 12/2022: Invited talk at NeurIPS'22 Workshop on ML Safety
  • 10/2022: Invited talk at ECCV workshop on uncertainty quantification for computer vision (UNCV)
  • 10/2022: Invited talk at ECCV workshop on Learning from Limited and Imperfect Data (L2ID)
  • 10/5/2022: Invited talk at TrustML Young Scientist Seminar
  • 10/3/2022: Invited talk at OSU CSE AI Seminar
  • 9/2022: Invited talk at SIAM Conference on Mathematics of Data Science
  • 8/2022: Invited talk at Future of Data-Centric AI Event
  • 7/2022: Invited talk at ICML'22 DataPerf Workshop
  • 3/2022: Invited talk at UT-Austin Sys/ML Workshop
  • 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.
  • 9/21/2020: MLOS Seminar at UW-Madison+Microsoft
  • 05/19/2020: Invited talk at Air Force Research Laboratory’s Workshop
  • .


  • Fall 2023: CS762 Advanced Deep Learning
  • Fall 2022: CS762 Advanced Deep Learning
  • 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.

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

    Sponsors We are thankful for the generous funding award and gift from the following sponsors: sponsor