Xiao (Lester) Yu, Ph.D.

Research Manager, Machine Learning & Security
Stellar Cyber

Curriculum Vitae // Email

Xiao (Lester) Yu joined Stellar Cyber in 2021 after spending over three years at NEC Laboratories America where he had worked on cybersecurity and machine learning research with a focus of graph and NLP based techniques in cybersecurity. Before joining NEC Laboratories America, he received his Ph.D. in Computer Science at North Carolina State University. His Ph.D. advisor was Guoliang Jin. Before starting his Ph.D. study, he received an M.S. in Software and Theory from East China Normal University in 2011, advised by Geguang Pu, and a B.S. in Software Engineering from the same university in 2008.


Lester’s research interests span the areas of cybersecurity, machine learning, software systems, and software engineering. Over the past few years, he has worked on a variety of research topics. A major part of his work is about data-driven intrusion detection, anomaly detection, and performance debugging using system logs and traces. In earlier years, he also did research on software testing and verification.

On log-related research, he collaborated and worked together with various brilliant people on a series of notable techniques, e.g.: SIGL for intrusion detection using provenance graphs, CloudSeer for log-based system monitoring and anomaly detection, and trace-based performance debugging on Windows Kernel Drivers (in collaboration with Software Analytics Group at Microsoft Research).

On software testing and verification, he participated in the early development of CAUT, a tool using dynamic symbolic execution to automatically generate program test data, when he was studying at East China Normal University.

Other Than Research

Lester is an amateur flutist who enjoys his lousy performance. Before the pandemic hit, he used to join with a group of flutists from The New York Flute Club for monthly ensemble rehearsals at Studios 353.