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 heavy use of applied machine learning, applied statistics, large-scale data analytics, as well as social 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 generously supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the United Nations Foundation, Yahoo!, Facebook, 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

  • 2018.05.16: 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.
  • 2018.02.06: Gave an invited seminar 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: Gave an invited seminar talk at the Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan.
  • 2017.12.05: Gave a seminar 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: Delivered an invited talk on improving health care systems with social media at Georgia Tech Health Systems Workshop.
  • 2017.08.24: 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.