Professor Cong Gao obtained his PhD in Computer Science from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2004. He received both his Master of Engineering and Bachelor of Engineering degrees in Information Systems from Tianjin University, China in 1999 and 1996 respectively. Professor Cong was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the University of Edinburgh from 2004 to 2006 and a Researcher with Microsoft Research Asia from 2006 to 2008. He joined the Department of Computer Science in Aalborg University, Denmark, as an Assistant Professor in 2008. He became an Assistant Professor with the School of Computer Science and Engineering (SCSE) in 2010 and was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in 2015 and to Professor in 2018. He has a courtesy appointment with the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (SPMS) since May 2016.


Professor Cong`s research in data science, including data management and data mining, has made significant impact in the areas of geospatial and textual data management, point of interest recommendation and user preference modelling, and mining social networks and social media. In particular, for geospatial and textual data management, his work on spatial-textural indexing, published in Very Large Databases 2009, has attracted more than 500 citations. Professor Cong’s work has opened a new sub-area of spatial databases and informational retrieval research with many follow-up works by top researchers and research groups internationally. The technique has been used as a benchmark for subsequent work on spatial-keyword query processing. 


Professor Cong has been an Associate Editor of ACM Transactions on Database Systems, the most prestigious journal for data management, since 2016. He was invited to serve as Co-editor for a section of the second version of Encyclopedia on Social Network Analysis and Mining. He is also currently in the editorial board of Proceeding of Very Large Database (PVLDB) and International Journal of Social Network Mining. He was an Associate Editor of PVLDB from 2013 to 2014. He has been involved in organising several conferences as the PC Vice Chair, PC Co-Chair, and Publication Chair. Notably, he is the PC Vice Chair for IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering’18 – one of the most renowned database conferences.


Professor Cong`s research has also made practical impact on industries. As the leading Principal Investigator (PI), he contributed significantly to the setup of the SingTel-NTU Joint Lab on Cognitive and Artificial Intelligence Lab (SCALE@NTU) with a total funding of S$42.4 million over 5 years. The lab aims to develop market leading and differentiating technologies in the fields of artificial intelligence and data science.