About me

I am a PhD candidate student in Computer Science at Arizona State University (ASU) working with Prof. Subbarao Kambhampati. In the past, I have worked as a research intern at Microsoft Research (Summer 2012 and 2013) and Avaya Labs (Summer 2011).

My research interests are in the area of Social computing, Human Computer Interaction and Machine Learning. Broadly speaking, the core theme of my research is to analyze large-scale, time-varying human behaviors manifested in their online footprints. By exploiting those behaviors at both individual and collective levels, my goal is to make a difference to real-world societal problems such as raising people's awareness and engagement in civic topics and issues, and thereby improve their living environment and quality of life. Specifically, my interdisciplinary work has focused on developing machine learning algorithms, tools and systems to characterize, make sense of, and predict people's reactions on social media platforms in responses to various civic topics covered in different types of events, ranging from public events to breaking events to local events.

My research has awarded a Best Paper nomination at CHI-13 (the most prestigious conference in computer-human interaction), led to a working system Whoo.ly (http://whooly.net) used by thousands of people, and filed two patents (both granted).

Finally, my work has been featured in the media, including ASU news, PBS, The Seattle Times, FastCompany, Computer Magazine and Neowin.

Most recently, my work on event analysis of 2012 Presidential debate attracted attention from Michael Crow -- the president of ASU, and I was honored to receive a congratulation letter from him.

me at Hawaii

News and Highlights

03/2014: Large-scale content and user analysis of Instagram was accepted in ICWSM-14! This is the first and the only large-scale analysis of Instagram data (on millions level). Stay tuned for details.
02/2014: This year I am on ICWSM, AAAI and SIGMM program committees. Lots of reviewing work ahead.
12/2013: I defended my PhD proposal "Event Analytics on Social media: Challenges and Solutions" and advanced to the PhD candidate status.
10/2013: I received a congratulation letter on my research from Michael Crow -- the president of ASU.
09/2013: Our work on event analysis of 2012 Presidential debate were featured in ASU news and PBS Horizon show
08/2013: My work on Whoo.ly was featured in The Seattle Times, FastCompany, Computer Magazine and Neowin and more.
08/2013: Paper accepted in HComp 2013: "Herding the Crowd: Automated Planning for Crowdsourced Planning."
06/2013: Start my second internship at Microsoft Research.
03/2013: Paper accepted in IJCAI 2013: "Listen to the Crowd: Automated Analysis of Events via Aggregated Twitter Sentiment." This paper presents a matrix factorization framework which automatically characterizs an event's segments and topics in terms of the aggregate sentiments elicited on Twitter. IJCAI 2013 will be held in Aug'13 at Beijing, China.
03/2013: Paper accepted in ICWSM 2013: "Dude, srsly?: The Surprisingly Formal Nature of Twitter's Language." This is the first study on the formalness of Twitter's language in comparison to other mediums like email, blogs and newspaper. ICWSM 2013 will be held at Boston in July of this year.
02/2013: Our CHI 2013 paper "Whoo.ly: Facilitating Information Seeking For Hyperlocal Communities Using Social Media." got the Best Paper Honorable Mention.
01/2013: I was invited to be on the comittee of ICWSM, IJCAI and ACM Multimedia this year.
11/2012: Paper accepted in CHI 2013: "Whoo.ly: Facilitating Information Seeking For Hyperlocal Communities Using Social Media." This paper presents and evluates the Whoo.ly system which automatically extracts and summarizes hyperlocal information about events, topics, people, and places from Twitter posts. CHI-13 will be held in May 2013 at Paris, France.
05/2012: Start my internship with Microsoft Research.
03/2012: Paper accepted in AAAI 2012: "ET-LDA: Joint Topic Modeling for Aligning Events and their Twitter Feedback". This paper presents a joint Bayesian model that performs topic modeling and event segmentation in one unified framework. AAAI-12 will be held in July 2012 at Toronto.
02/2012: Paper accepted in ICWSM 2012: "What were the Tweets about? Topical Associations between Public Events and Twitter Feeds." This paper reveasl the nature and magnitude of the influences of the event on the corrsponding tweets over its timeline. ICWSM-12 will be held in June 2012 at Dublin, Ireland.
05/2011: Start my internship with Avaya Labs.