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Oral Candidacy - Aastha Nigam

Start: 4/13/2017 at 10:30AM
End: 4/13/2017 at 1:30PM
Location: 384 Nieuwland
Attendees: Faculty and students are welcome to attend the presentation portion of the defense.
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Aastha Nigam
Oral Candidacy
April 13, 2017        10:30 am        384 Nieuwland
Adviser:  Dr. Nitesh Chawla
Dr. Omar Lizardo        Dr. Ron Metoyer        Dr. Dong Wang


Beyond Who and What: Data Driven Approaches for User Characterization


Social media and technology have drastically transformed our social and information networks and have affected various activities such as how we communicate with others, search for information online and express our opinions about events. Moreover, in this era of big data, not only are the online services collecting vast variety of user data but we as users are also readily divulging significant amount of information. Such massive datasets obtained from diverse sources such as organizations and user generated content, give us the opportunity to explore and understand complex behavior of individuals and communities. This proposal aims at designing generalizable and scalable data-driven frameworks to build a deeper understanding of the users, explain their actions and preferences, and infer personal traits. The proposed models will enable us to move beyond asking conventional questions such as who and what, and reveal answers about how and why. Given the varying digital persona of users motivated by their personal preferences and social attributes, we characterize users in  three distinct domains: online health, peace studies and digital media. The models are designed to solve various real-world challenges to maximize their broader impact.