I am an Assistant Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech. I am also affiliated with the Graphics and Visualization Center (GVU), Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), and the Machine Learning Center (ML@GT) at Georgia Tech. My research interests are in the interdisciplinary area of computational social science, wherein I am interested in questions around making sense of human behavior and psychological state, as manifested via our online social footprints. I am motivated by how the availability of large-scale online social data, coupled with computational methods can help us answer fundamental questions relating to our social lives, particularly our health and well-being. My research agenda thus makes extensive use of applied machine learning, applied statistics, large-scale data analytics, as well as social and behavioral science, and human-centered approaches.

At Georgia Tech, I lead the Social Dynamics and Wellbeing Lab (SocWeB). We study, analyze, and appropriate social media to derive computational, large-scale data-driven insights, and to develop mechanisms and technologies for improving our well-being, particularly our mental health. Please refer to the Research page for details about our broader research agenda, and the Publications page for recent research efforts. Our research is graciously supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United Nations Foundation, Facebook, Mozilla, 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. PS: At this point I am not taking off-campus students for short-term projects or summer internships.

Recent News and Highlights

  • 2018.09.28: Pleased to have been invited to give a keynote talk at the RoBUST 4th Annual Fall Symposium New Methods in Biobehavioral Health Research, at Wayne State University.
  • 2018.09.12: Excited that our collaborative project, titled "PFI-RP: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Detecting Adolescent Online Risks" has been funded by the National Science Foundation!
  • 2018.09.11: Excited that our collaborative project, titled "CHS: Small: Collaborative Research: Tools for Mental Health Reflection: Integrating Social Media with Human-Centered Machine Learning" has been funded by the National Science Foundation!
  • 2018.08.02: Pleased to have been invited to speak at the 2018 Summer School on Computational Social Science methods, held at University of Southern California.
  • 2018.07.11: Very honored to be one of the recipients of the 2018 Mozilla Research Grants! Our work will investigate the psychological repercussions of professional harassment online and propose the design of tools to address these challenges. Thank you Mozilla!
  • 2018.06.05: Pleased to be invited to speak at the Workshop on "Harnessing Mobile Technology to Predict, Diagnose, Monitor, and Develop Treatments for Nervous System Disorders", organized by the The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
  • 2018.05.30: Pleased to have the opportunity to give an invited talk at the Georgia Tech Civic Data Science program.
  • 2018.05.16: Nova Next, the online news branch of the Nova science documentary series with PBS wrote about affective computing and AI, with a part about mental health. So pleased to be featured in this article!
  • 2018.04.20: Yale Daily News wrote a thoughtful, elaborate piece about the mental health crisis in college campuses, including a feature of our work surrounding the role of social media in this important issue.
  • 2018.03.01: Pleased to be invited to speak at the pre-conference on "Psychology of Media Technology" at the 2018 Annual Convention of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.
  • 2018.02.06: Gave an invited talk at the Computer Science/Biomedical Informatics joint seminar series, University of Pennsylvania.
  • 2018.01.31: Very honored to join the Editorial Board of Springer EPJ Data Science!
  • 2017.12.07: Pleased to have given an invited talk at the Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan.
  • 2017.12.05: Pleased to have given an invited talk at the Division of Violence Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention centered around role of social media in tackling mental health issues.
  • 2017.11.28: A Mashable piece covering some of my thoughts on the new suicide prevention tool released by Facebook. Similar coverage also made by the breakfast program Newsday of BBC World Service.
  • 2017.11.07: Served on a panel on technology and public health at the Annual Meeting of American Public Health Association (APHA).
  • 2017.09.28: Served on a Future Tense panel around how innovations in technology are reimagining the way we treat mental illness, organized by New America.
  • 2017.09.22: Pleased to have delivered an invited talk on improving health care systems with social media at Georgia Tech Health Systems Workshop.
  • 2017.08.24: Pleased to have delivered a keynote talk on implications of social media in mental health research and practice at the inauguration of the Center for Digital Mental Health at University of Oregon.