Phung Lai earned her Ph.D. in Information Systems at New Jersey Institute of Technology. She obtained her Master's degree in Computer Science at Oregon State University and Bachelor's degree in Electronics and Telecommunications from Danang University of Technology (Vietnam).
Her research interests focus on trustworthy machine learning with the core of privacy and security. There are various applications such as human sensing, mobile computing, social goods, natural language modeling, computer vision, finance, healthcare, data analysis, etc. Dr. Lai has authored many publications at leading venues, including AAAI, AISTATS, IEEE BigData, IEEE Transactions, etc.
Dr. Lai is a recipient of the AAAI 2023 Distinguished Paper Award. She is also a holder of several patents in privacy preservation in Natural Language Modeling. The NSF and industrial partners, including Adobe, Qualcomm, and Wells Fargo, have funded her work.
In addition, she has experience in collaborating with other research labs and working with industrial research partners, including the University of Florida, University of Michigan, University of Arkansas, Kent State University, Adobe Research, Qualcomm, etc. These crucial and long-term research collaborations result in many publications and patents, which are towards technology transfer and the wide adoption of machine learning in real-world applications.
Dr. Lai has participated in several professional academic activities, e.g., a reviewer or external reviewer for many conferences/journals. She is also an active participant in some woman-in-tech activities, such as Women in IoT Workshop and Society of Women Engineers (SWE).