I am an Assistant Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech and a faculty associate with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. 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. I am interested in these problems both from an individual perspective, at the same time, as part of a larger collective.

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. Please refer to the Research page for details about our current research efforts. Our research is generously supported by the National Institutes of Health and the United Nations Foundation.

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.

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

  • 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.