CS&E Professor and Alumnus Win Award for Cutting-Edge Database Research

July 20, 2016

Associate Professor Mohamed Mokbel and alumnus and Assistant Professor at City University of Hong Kong Chi-Yin Chow will receive the “10-Year Award” at the Very Large Data Bases Conference in New Delhi in September for their groundbreaking research on databases. The award is given to author(s) whose paper appeared at VLDB 10 years ago and has proven to have a profound impact on database research since then.

Professor Walid Aref of Purdue University will join Professors Mokbel and Chow in receiving the prestigious award for their paper entitled “The new Casper: Query processing for location services without compromising privacy,” which was presented at the VLDB Conference in 2006 and was the first to discuss location privacy from a database perspective.

Location privacy has become increasingly important over the years since many mobile platforms report location information to use their services.  For example, many mapping apps and the blockbuster game Pokémon Go ask users to report their locations to the database servers in order to obtain the service.  What Mokbel and his team realized is that this kind of reporting opens up major privacy concerns if location information is reported to untrusted servers. Their research led to location-based services that not only maintain high-quality results, but also provide anonymity for data and queries while protecting user privacy.

Since presenting the paper 10 years ago, the team’s research has been cited nearly 1,000 times according to Google scholar.

Please join CS&E in sending our congratulations to Professors Mokbel, Chow, and Aref on their highly influential research and this great honor.

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