I am an assistant professor at School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. In the past, I worked as an assistant research professor at the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Northeastern University. I was also a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University and College of Computer and Information Science, Northeastern University.
I am interested in studying social and political networks, as well as computational and visualization methods for understanding network data. My work has focused on large-scale community dynamics, rich-context (high-dimensional) social information summarization and representation. I have been using massive social media data and anonymized cellphone records (CDRs) to understand the collective responses with respect to political events and under exogenous shocks such as emergencies.
I am a computer scientist by training, and I identify myself as a computational social scientist as I concern more with questions like: "how would a society be informed?" "how do people share information, ideas and opinions in various contexts?" These questions have led me to explore analytical and computational techniques for mining heterogeneous, multi-relational, and semistructured data that can advance our understanding about structures in networked societies.
During my postdoctoral training, I have worked with colleagues from
the disciplines of Physics and Social Sciences in the BarabasiLab and the LazerLab, where I worked with Dr. David Lazer. I received my Ph.D. in Computer Science from Arizona State University, with an interdisciplinary concentration in Arts Media and Engineering, where I worked with Dr. Hari Sundaram and Dr. Aisling Kelliher. My Ph.D. work focused on extracting human communities that collaborate around certain topics or shared media artifacts. I have proposed matrix and tensor based techniques for analyzing community structures and evolutions in time-varying heterogeneous social networks, and developed visualizations to support community discovery in the context of everyday social media use.
I am looking for highly motivated students who have strong interest in pursuing research careers in the new areas of Data Science, Network Science, and Computational Social Science. See more information.
My publications and talk slides can be found here
Two papers accepted to appear in CHI 2015: "g-Miner: Interactive Visual Group Mining on Multivariate Graphs" and "Trajectory Bundling for Animated Transitions"
Paper published in EPJ Data Science: "The ripple of fear, sympathy and solidarity during the Boston bombings".
This article presents the first empirical findings that systematically understand the underlying mechanisms of inter-communal relations by examining how different cities reacted, in terms of fear and expressions of social support, to a recent mass violence event, the Boston Marathon bombings. The work was featured in Pitt News, ScienceDaily, Phys.org, and PsychCentral.
I was invited to attend the 2014 Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium on December 5-7, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan, co-sponsored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences (JAFoS) and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
Paper accepted to appear in ICDM 2014: "UnTangle: Visual Mining for Data with Uncertain Multi-labels via Triangle Map" (full paper acceptance rate: 9.7%)
Paper accepted to appear in HICSS 2015: "What Makes Hyper-Local Online Discussion Forums Sustainable?" The paper got the Honorable Mention in HICSS.
Paper accepted to appear in IEEE VAST 2014: "#FluxFlow: Visual Analysis of Anomalous Information Spreading on Social Media." The paper won the Honorable Mention Award in VAST.
Paper published in PLoS ONE: "Rising Tides or Rising Stars?: Dynamics of Shared Attention on Twitter During Media Events". This article presents new empirical findings about how the social dynamics of online social interactions and information sharing temporarily but fundamentally change in response to external events.
Paper accepted to appear in HT 2014: "Twitter in Academic Conferences: Usage, Networking and Participation over Time"
Read earlier research highlights
or detailed research description
teaching & tutorials
I have served as a program committee member for international data and web mining
conferences and workshops including KDD 2015
, IJCAI 2015
, MM 2013
, WSDM 2014
, WSDM 2013
, WWW 2014
, WWW 2012
, WWW 2011
, HT 2012
, ICWSM 2014
, ICWSM 2012
, ICWSM 2011
, ICWSM 2010
I have served as a reviewer for journals including IEEE
, ACM TOIS
, Communications of the ACM
, IEEE TMM
, etc., and
conferences including IUI
, ACM SIGKDD
, ACM MM
Workshop Chair/Co-Chair: 2014 KDD Workshop on Learning about Emergencies from Social Information (KDD-LESI 2014)
International Workshop on Collaborative Big Data (C-Big 2014)
International Workshop on Challenges & Issues on Scholarly Big Data Discovery and Collaboration (SBD 2014)
, 2013 KDD
Mutimedia Data Mining Workshop
Doctoral Symposium in ACM