Zechun Cao

Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University, San Antonio

Dr. Cao is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. His research interests are in cybersecurity, privacy, and natural language processing. He has been actively working on detecting anomalies by behavior modeling, with applications to solve network and host intrusion detection problems. Along this line of research, he recently started focusing on using expressive data representations to model user behavior, which can leverage deep neural networks to detect anomalies with higher accuracy. Dr. Cao is also interested in applying cryptographic tools and techniques to build privacy-preserving systems with a balance of privacy and functionality. Recent projects span areas such as graph neural networks, applied cryptography, natural language processing, and computer science education. He is PI for A&M-SA in an NSF-funded collaborative project for building a privacy-preserving tutoring system for health education of low literacy Hispanic populations. He is also the senior personnel in an NSF-funded project for designing a private location-based service protocol. Over the years, Dr. Cao has been passionate about mentoring students to success. He has engaged and worked with more than ten undergraduate students in research experience through the NSF REU program. He is co-PI for an ASEE-funded project to prepare students for privacy and machine learning research.


  • Security
  • Privacy
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Natural Language Processing