Genuis only means hard-working all one’s life.

Hi there! My name is Tong Xia, and I am a finishing PhD student and research assistant in the Department of Computer Science and Technology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, supervised by Prof. Cecilia Mascolo. I received my master’s degree from the Department of Electronics and Engineering, Tsinghua University, China, in 2020, supervised by Prof. Yong Li. Prior to that, I received my bachelor’s degree in Electronic and Information Engineering from Wuhan University, China, in 2017.

Research Interests

I am interested in data mining, machine learning, deep learning, and all kinds of artificial intelligence technologies which can help improve public health and benefit human well-being.

During the coronavirus pandemic, I worked on mobile health project. Specifically, we collect human sounds to set up machine learning models, as a non-invasive and low-cost pre-screening tool, to help screen COVID-19. Visit our website to learn more about our findings.

The main objective of my PhD study is the exploration and development of data-efficient, high-performance, risk-aware, and privacy-preserving diagnostic systems through physiological signals like respiratory and heart sound, to achieve ubiquitous, affordable, and non-invasive daily pathological screening, diagnosis, and monitoring from home. By harnessing the power of small data learning and probabilistic machine learning, I aim to propose novel solutions for the data imbalance and uncertainty estimation obstacles when applying machine learning to reliable health diagnoses. I am also investigating decentralized model training techniques to allow privacy-preserving mobile health applications. A brief map of my research:

In previous years, I mainly focused on mining mobile big data with regard to smartphone App usage and human mobility.


Oct. 2023: Our workshop FairComp at UbiComp2023 was completed with great success!
July 2023: Congrats to Evelyn - the first MPhil I co-supervised, graduated from Cambridge with distinction. Also, she has been awarded a commended dissertation award by the department - one of the 4 prizes awarded for dissertations in computer science.
March 2023: My paper Cross-device Federated Learning for Mobile Health Diagnostics: A First Study on COVID-19 Detection was accepted by IEEE ICASSP, check out the pre-print.
December 2022: Welcome to our poster - Hybrid-EDL at Workshop on Trustworthy and Socially Responsible Machine Learning, NeurIPS 2022.
Nov. 2022: We are delighted that my teammate and I got Third Place in the Intelligent Medical Track in the 2022 World Privacy-Preserving Computing Competition (WPPCC 2022)!
May 2022: I presented my work at Oxbridge Women in CS conference and I was awarded a Best Postgraduate Poster Prize Poster.
April 2022: Our COVID-19 Sounds team was awarded a “Better Future Award” in Hall of Fame Awards 2021!
Jan. 2022: Our paper Sounds of COVID-19: exploring realistic performance of audio-based digital testing was accepted by npj Digital Medicine! (IF2021=15.357).
Oct. 2021: A paper with a large-scale dataset and competitive benchmarks published in NeurIPS 2021 Datasets and Benchmark Track paper.


• 2023, Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad, UK
• 2022, 2nd POSTER AWARD in Precision Health Initiative Launch Symposium, Cambridge
• 2022, Third Place of lntelligent Medical Track in 2022 World Privacy-Preserving Computing Competition (WPPCC 2022)
• 2022, Best Postgraduate Poster in Oxbridge Women in Computer Science Conference
• 2022, COVID-19 Sounds project awarded as Better Future Award in Hall of Fame Awards, Cambridge
• 2021, ISCA INTERSPEECH Student Travel Grant
• 2020, Overseas PhD Full Scholarship for 2020-2023
• 2020, Distinguished Master Thesis Award by the Chinese Institute of Electronics
• 2020, Outstanding Research Intern, Tencent, Beijing
• 2019, National Graduate Student Scholarship of China
• 2016, Intel Cup Embedded System Invitational Contest, National Third Prize
• 2014, National Undergraduate Student Scholarship of China

Academic Service

I am a reviewer of
• EPJ data science
and I also serve as an SPC for
• AAAI 2020,2021
• UbiComp 2019, 2020, 2021
• WWW 2020
• KDD 2019, 2021
• IJCAI 2021,2022, 2023
• ICASSP 2022, 2023

I am serving as UbiComp 2022 Posters&Demos session chair this year.


I am also passionate about supervising and I have been a teaching assistant for the following undergraduate courses:

• Artificial Intelligence 2022(Part IB, University of Cambridge)
• Machine Learning & Real-World Data 2022(Part IA, University of Cambridge)
• Foundation of Data Science 2021 (Part IA, University of Cambridge)
• AI Research Project 2021, 2022 (China UK Development Centre, Cambridge Centre for the Integration of Science, Technology and Culture)
• AI in Medicine Project 2021 (China UK Development Centre, Cambridge Centre for the Integration of Science, Technology, and Culture)