I am an Assistant Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech. I am also affiliated with the GVU Center at Georgia Tech. My research interests are in the area of computational social science, wherein I am interested in questions around making sense of human behavior as manifested via our online social footprints. I am motivated by how the availability of large-scale online social data, coupled with computational methods and resources can help us answer fundamental questions relating to our social lives, particularly our health and well-being.

At Georgia Tech, I lead the Social Dynamics and Wellbeing Lab (SocWeb). We study, mine, and analyze social media to derive insights into improving our health and well-being. Our research is generously supported by the National Institutes of Health, the United Nations Foundation, Yahoo!, and Samsung.

Before moving to Georgia Tech in Spring 2014, I was a postdoctoral researcher in the neXus group at Microsoft Research, Redmond, between 2011 and 2013. I received my Ph.D in 2011 from the Department of Computer Science at Arizona State University, Tempe, where I was a part of the transdisciplinary program and venture on digital media: Arts, Media & Engineering. Following grad school, I also spent some time at the School of Communication and Information, Rutgers. In the academic year 2014-15, I was also a faculty associate with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard.

Prospective Students: I am looking forward to working with motivated and self-driven students interested to work on problems that bear real-world impact. The problems we explore in our lab require computational rigor as well as interdisciplinary investigation. If you are interested in talking to me about prospective projects, please drop me an email with your CV, information on your technical skills, and prior research experience, if any.

News and Highlights

  • 2015.07.20: Science News covered our recent paper on the links between Facebook use and risky dieting behaviors among college-aged women. Extended coverage here and here.
  • 2015.07.14: Delighted and pleased to have Yahoo! Labs support our work on "Visual Cues for Detecting Pro-Eating Disorder Behavior in Social Multimedia Content" through their Faculty Research and Engagement Program!
  • 2015.04.21: I am a winner of the 2015 James C. Edenfield Faculty Fellowship Award at Georgia Tech.
  • 2015.04.14: I will be giving keynote talk on "Social Media for Mental Health: Opportunities, Challenges and The Road Ahead" at the Second Computational Linguistics and Clinical Psychology Workshop (CLPsych), to be held in conjunction with the 2015 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics Human Language Technologies (NAACL HLT 2015), in Denver, Colorado, on Friday June 5th 2015.
  • 2015.02.15: My talk at the AAAS Annual Meeting was covered by Science News! It covers our research on the use of social media for detecting risk to postpartum depression. The article can be found here.
  • 2015.02.13: New York Times covered us again! This time our research on how Twitter use changes in the aftermath of a wedding engagement. A version also appeared in print on Feb 16, 2015! The article can be found here.
  • 2014.12.26: Our research on social media and mental health was featured in the New York Times, including a version in print! The article can be found here.
  • 2014.11.07: Our research on social media and mental health was covered by the NPR, on the program "On The Media". Link to the podcast is here.
  • 2014.10.30: I will be talking about use of social media as a complementary behavioral measurement tool for mental health in a panel at the 2015 AAPOR 70th Annual Conference. The panel is titled: "Twitter Data for Social Research: Empirical Evidence".
  • 2014.10.01: I co-organized the second annual Atlanta Computational Social Science Workshop on November 21, 2014 at Georgia Tech.
  • 2014.09.15: I was an invited speaker at the 3rd International Workshop on Socially-Aware Multimedia, held on November 7, 2014 in Orlando, FL, in conjunction with ACM Multimedia 2014.
  • 2014.07.08: I am going to be a speaker at a panel on "New Analytic Approaches to Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Bases of Communication", to be organized at the 2015 AAAS Annual Meeting.
  • 2014.03.16: NBC News did a piece on our work spanning postpartum depression and mental health aid for crises. Also see additional coverage by Scientific American, Phys.org, IBT, RedOrbit, Examiner, PS Mag, Science Daily, iHealthBeat, on our work about social media desensitization and the Mexican Drug War.
  • 2014.03.31: Nieman Lab highlighted our research on examining the kinds/amounts of health information people publicly disclose on Twitter contrasting with search engines for health-related inquiries.
  • 2014.03.04: Listed by the Center for Data Innovation as one of the 15 Women in Data to Follow on Twitter.
  • 2014.01.27: Coverage of our work in TIME on predicting individuals' risk to depression from their social media traces.
  • 2013.12.04: GNIP posted a data story on our research using social media to understand depression.
  • 2013.11.30: This year I am Program Co-chair of the 8th International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM). Consider attending!
  • 2013.11.10: Together with Scott Counts, Jana Diesner, Eric Gilbert, Marta Gonzalez, Brian Keegan, Mor Naaman and Hanna Wallach, I organized a panel at CSCW 2014 on Computational Social Science.
  • 2013.05.03: Scientific American did a piece on our CHI 2013 paper on predicting postpartum behavioral changes in new mothers using Twitter. Link to article is here. The corresponding Microsoft Research blog post can be accessed here.
  • 2012.12.01: I was very delighted to be one of the two invited speakers at the TEDxWomen 2012, South Lake Union event in Seattle. A video of my talk is here.