About​ Me

Working Experience

Yunqi Academy of Engineering


Chief Scientist

Yunqi Academy of Engineering is a nonprofit organization located in Yunqi Town, Hangzhou, China.

Pennsylvania State University


Tenured Professor

I joined Penn State as a tenure-track assistant professor in 2012 and received tenure in 2017.


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Ph.D. in Computer Science

I was fortunate to be advised by Prof. Jiawei Han at UIUC.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University


Bachelor in Computer Science & Engineering

I was a student in ACM honors class at SJTU.

Intern Experience

Microsoft Research

Summer 2011 @ Mountain View


Summer 2009 @ Menlo Park


Summer 2008 @ Santa Clara


Summer 2006 @ Beijing


NSF CAREER Award (2017)
Haile Family Early Career Professorship, Penn State (2017-2020)

Cross-disciplinary data-driven research

I collaborate with cross-disciplinary researchers and develop computational techniques to release the power of data.



I publish in data mining & machine learning & AI conferences: KDD, ICDM, AAAI, WWW, ICML, NeurIPS, and etc.

100+ publications
10000+ citations

All Publications


George J. McMurtry Junior Faculty Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award, Penn State (2017)

PhD at Penn State

Huaxiu Yao (2021) Assitant Professor at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Porter Jenkins (2020) Assistant Professor at Brigham Young University
Hua Wei (2020) Assistant Professor at Arizona State University
Guanjie Zheng (2020) Assistant Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Yu-Hsuan Kuo (2018) Applied Scientist at Amazon
Hongjian Wang (2018) Staff ML Engineer at Twitter
Fei Wu (2018) Staff Research Scientist at Meta

Post Doc at Penn State

Tao Wen (PostDoc 2017-2020) Assistant Professor at Syracuse University

Classes at Penn State

IST 210 Organization of Data
IST 557 Data Mining: Techniques and Applications

Great class atmosphere, amazing professor with a drive to help her students succeed

I have previously taken this course last year and dropped out half way through the semester because I wasn’t learning anything nor did I have the drive to. Jessie is a great instructor and I learned a lot from her. She pushes you to do the work with a lot of hands on activities-which is great for learning especially in these types of classes.

It was clear that Dr. Li is very knowledgeable about the topics in this class and she is always very encouraging about our work.

From student anonymous reviews of the class

IST210 Class

Spring 2016