Dr. Heng Xu is a tenured associate professor of Information Sciences and Technology at the Pennsylvania State University. She leads the Privacy Assurance Lab (PAL), an inter-disciplinary research group working on a diverse set of projects related to understanding and assuring information privacy. She is also the associate director of the Center for Cyber-Security, Information Privacy and Trust (LIONS Center) at Penn State.
Dr. Xu is currently on a temporary rotation as a Program Director at the US National Science Foundation for Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) Program in the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences.
Her current research focus is on the interplay between social and technological issues associated with information privacy. She approaches privacy issues through a combination of empirical, theoretical, and technical research efforts. Her research projects have been dealing with individuals' information privacy concerns and behaviors, strategic management of organizational privacy and security practices, and design and empirical evaluations of privacy-enhancing technologies. At Penn State, she teaches courses on security and risk analysis, integration of privacy and security, human information behavior, and organizational informatics. Her interdisciplinary research and education have been sponsored by multiple grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Security Agency.
Dr. Xu has authored over 80 research papers on information privacy, security management, human-computer interaction, and technology innovation adoption. Her award winning work has been published in premier outlets across various fields such as Information Systems, Law, Computer Science, and Human-Computer Interaction, including MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Journal of Management Information Systems, Decision Support Systems, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, Proceedings of the International World Wide Web Conference (WWW), Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW), and many others.
Dr. Xu has been a recipient of an NSF Career award (2010) and the endowed PNC Technologies Career Development Professorship (2010-2013). She has received a number of best paper nominations and awards at leading conferences such as the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2013 (Best Paper Honorable Mention Award), International Conference on Electronic Commerce 2012 (Best Paper Nominee), iConference 2009 (Best Paper Award), and International Conference on Information Systems (Best Theme Paper runner-up in ICIS 2003, and Best Doctoral Dissertation runner-up in ICIS 2006). Her interdisciplinary privacy research has been featured in the Wall Street Journal Digits, The Daily Mail, Science Daily; on the Kathleen Dunn Show that airs live on Wisconsin Public Radio, and on TV Show - To the Best of My Knowledge that airs live in Central Pennsylvania.