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 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 and develop mechanisms toward improving our health and well-being. 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.
News and Highlights
- 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.
- 2017.05.18: Our paper examining the relationship between social support and risk to suicidal ideation has received a Best Paper Award at ICWSM 2017.
- 2017.01.19: Our paper exploring gender based and cross-cultural dimensions of mental health disclosures on social media has received a Best Paper Award at CSCW 2017.
- 2016.05.20: Our paper on one of the first investigations of social media participation around the Black Lives Matter movement has received the Best Paper Award at ICWSM 2016.
- 2016.02.09: Our paper on suicidal ideation and social media has received a Best Paper Honorable Mention Award at CHI 2016.
- 2015.12.11: Two Best Paper Honorable Mention Awards at CSCW 2016, on our papers on eating disorders on social media.
- 2015.09.09: Pleased to be recognized in Georgia Tech Faces of Inclusive Excellence 2014-15, an annual publication that recognizes a diverse group of faculty, staff, and students who are committed to making Georgia Tech among the most highly respected technology-focused learning institutions in the world.
- 2015.06.16: Recognized as a Class of 1969 Teaching Fellow by the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning, Georgia Tech.
- 2015.04.21: I am a winner of the 2015 James C. Edenfield Faculty Fellowship Award at Georgia Tech.