Group Leader

Sandra González-Bailón

Sandra González-Bailón

DPhil Sociology, Oxford | | |
Assistant Professor
I am Assistant Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, and affiliated faculty at the Warren Center for Network and Data Sciences. Prior to joining Penn, I was a Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute (2008-2013), where I am now a Research Associate. I completed my doctoral degree in Nuffield College (University of Oxford) and my undergraduate studies at the University of Barcelona. My research lies at the intersection of network science, data mining, computational tools, and political communication.

Students


Josh Becker

Josh Becker

Fifth Year PhD student |

Josh’s research focuses on exploring the dynamic processes underlying collective cognition including group problem solving, information diffusion, and collective memory construction. Using both interpretive network analysis and computational agent-based modeling, Josh seeks both to categorize known phenomena and also to understand the conditions that make them possible. A graduate of St. John’s College, he has a professional background in conflict mediation and community organizing.


Kecheng Fang

Kecheng Fang

Fourth year PhD student |

I am pursuing my PhD degree at the Annenberg School for Communication. My research interests include political communication and journalism. As a former Beijing-based political journalist for Southern Weekly (Nanfang Zhoumo), one of the most influential newspaper in China, I am interested in exploring the relationship between media and politics in China. More specifically, what’s the role of (censored but not completely tamed) media and journalists in China’s reform? I am also a long-time and active Internet writer and observer, a “best blogger” nominated by Deutsche Welle. Previously, I studied at Peking University in China and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Visit my website for more information.
Eric Forbush

Eric Forbush

Second Year PhD Student |

I am a doctoral student at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. I specialize in intercultural communication and ethnicity and race in communication. In particular, I use a computational lens to study issues related to cross-cultural adaptation and team composition/performance. My work has an interdisciplinary focus, utilizing a range of analytical techniques developed across a variety of backgrounds such as computer science, communication, engineering, sociology, and psychology.



Jacob Gursky

Jacob Gursky

Third Year BA Student |

I am pursuing a degree from the Annenberg School for Communication’s undergraduate program. My interests are the diffusion of protests over social media and digital rights activism (primarily online privacy). I am combining the sociological NETS education taught at the Annenberg School with Penn’s NETS Engineering core courses. After graduation, I am going to use network analysis to help grassroots activist groups facilitate successful movements.



Soojong Kim

Soojong Kim

Third Year PhD Student |

Soojong Kim is a doctoral student at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. He is interested in social influence, social identity, and social networks. His research focuses on how we can predict and manipulate information flow on social networks. As a former computer scientist and a mobile technology engineer, he conducts research based on computational methods, including computational modeling and simulation, web-based experiment, and large-scale data analysis. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Seoul National University. He worked at Samsung Electronics as a researcher. He also earned his Master degree in Sociology at Seoul National University.


Donna Lee

Donna Lee

Second Year PhD Student |

I am a doctoral student at the Annenberg School for Communication. My research interests lie in understanding how information circulates in the online sphere, and how that diffusion of information builds trust and understanding among different groups of people, both on and offline. I graduated in 2016 with a bachelor’s in Sociology and Communication from the University of Pennsylvania.



Bo Mai

Bo Mai

Sixth year PhD student |

I am a doctoral student at the Annenberg School for Communication and the Department of Sociology. My research interests lie at the intersection of social networking sites, online privacy, surveillance, and Chinese Internet industry. My work has examined the contextual factors that affect Chinese Internet users’ tendency to disclose private information on social networking sites. My current project examines the emerging web-tracking market in China to understand the ways in which digital technologies influence the practices and mechanism of both political and commercial surveillance online.



Yilang Peng

Yilang Peng

Fourth year PhD student |

Yilang Peng is a doctoral candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication. His research interests lie at the intersection of visual communication, computational social science, and human-computer interaction. Given the prevalence of visual content in today’s digital media environment, his research explores how communication studies can benefit from the use of computational tools in analyzing visual data. His dissertation applies computer vision techniques — such as facial recognition and emotion detection — to identify media bias in visual representations of politicians.



Subhayan Mukerjee

Subhayan Mukerjee

Third year PhD student & Group Coordinator |

I am a PhD student at the Annenberg School for Communication, and a graduate of BITS Pilani, India with degrees in math and computer science. My research interests lie in exploring ways in which one can facilitate, analyze and interpret online human communication by using data driven technologies, statistical tools and computational techniques. Prior to joining Annenberg, I’ve had a brief stint in industry where I have worked in software and data analytics. I blog at http://blog.subhayan.com.



Sijia Yang

Sijia Yang

Sixth year PhD student |

I am a doctoral student at the Annenberg School for Communication. I study interpersonal interactions and social influence with regard to both political and health-related issues. I am interested in how structural properties of online networks, together with the features of the messages exchanged, affect social diffusion of information (e.g. political rumors and health-related mis-information); public opinion/attitude formation; and individual behavioral changes. In the DiMeNet group, I work on a project aiming to combine text mining and semantic network analysis to trace down misleading beliefs formed around heath/science-related topics, such as E-cigaratte, the outbreak of Ebola, and PX plants in China, with special attention paid to bottom-up collective corrective efforts to contain and debunk misconceptions.



Tian Yang

Tian Yang

First year PhD student |

Tbc.



Alvin Zhou

First year PhD student |

I am a doctoral student at the Annenberg School for Communication. I am broadly interested in communication research on activist groups. My current research focuses on the network dynamics in political settings, such as the organizing of demonstrations, the formation of polarization, and the diffusion of political information. I received my B.E. in Mechanical Engineering and B.A. in Journalism from Tsinghua University, and my M.A. in Strategic Public Relations from the USC Annenberg School.

Alumni


Tim Libert

Tim Libert

DiMeNet member from September 2014 to July 2017 |

For more information about me, check my personal home page. While I have a genetic predisposition which prevents me from smiling in photographs (see left), I’m generally fun to be around.

Previous Visiting Students


Enes Abanoz

Enes Abanoz

Visiting from January to December 2015 |

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Informatics at Marmara University’s School of Communications and a research assistant at Ondokuz Mayıs University’s School of Communications. For my doctoral research, I am working on developing a model to predict social events –protests, demonstrations, and the like– before they take place, based on interactions over Twitter in Turkish. I examined the effects of convergence in newsrooms for my master’s thesis, which was partly developed during a 2-month fellowship at the University Georgia. Before entering academia, Enes worked for more than 5 years as a professional video editor. He is also an avid hexacopter operator, producing videos for Barbeku TV.


Sílvia Majó Vázquez

Sílvia Majó Vázquez

Visiting from January to June 2015 & January to June 2016 | |

My research interests are in the intersection of new media and public opinion with a twofold methodological approach: social network analysis and experiments. Previously, I was political communication strategist and speechwriter for ten years and as a journalist, associated professor at UAB. Personal page.


Javier Ruiz-Soler

Javier Ruiz-Soler

Visiting from January to June 2017 | |

Javier Ruiz-Soler is a doctoral student in political communication at the Department of Political and Social Sciences, European University Institute, Florence (Italy). He has a Master in European Studies from Lund University (Sweden) and Master level courses of Media and Communications from Stockholm University. His current research interest focus on the European Public Sphere (especially online), network analysis, and social media. His dissertation explores the European Twittersphere applying the methodology of network analysis and sentiment analysis. Personal page.