My first computer as a child was a Radio Shack TRS-80, and since then I have never lost my love for computational "everything". I am passionate about the technology revolution, which includes a very real concern for how technology can both positively and negatively affect our society. My professional aim is to use computational and technological methods (e.g., data science, cloud computing, computational psychology) to help push forward innovation and progress. I am absolutely not afraid to try things that may break the norm as that is at the heart of innovation.
These are the current questions that I am passionate about researching:
How can adjustments be made to the Internet to foster transparency, security, accountability, and equity?
How is data and technology contributing to the dividing of society and how can we develop solutions to foster unity?
How can we find solutions to balance social data privacy with healthy technological advancement?
How can we innovate technologically to foster symbiotic relationships between small businesses and large corporations?
What are ways that data and technology can foster socio-economic health for all as opposed to broadening the socio-economic divide?
MY CURRENT ROLES
What I'm Doing Now
My full work history can be found at my LinkedIn.
RESEARCH ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF ACCOUNTANCY, GIES COLLEGE OF BUSINESS, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN
I have the privilege to work for one of the most prestigious accountancy departments in the world. Illinois' accountancy department is so forward thinking that they absolutely welcomed a computational researcher/thinker like myself, and I hope to contribute to the high reputation of the department.
DIRECTOR, DATA SCIENCE RESEARCH SERVICE, GIES COLLEGE OF BUSINESS, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN
I am also leading an initiative to support the already growing incorporation of data science into the research and curriculum of the Gies College of Business. The fact that I have the opportunity to build this service is a testament to the stellar vision of the college leadership.
CENTER AFFILIATE, NATIONAL CENTER FOR SUPERCOMPUTING APPLICATIONS
I find myself deeply privileged to be a part of the birthplace of the web browser and many other technological innovations. My main project with NCSA is the Social Media Macroscope (www.socialmediamacroscope.org).
RESEARCH ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, CHARLES H. SANDAGE DEPARTMENT OF ADVERTISING, COLLEGE OF MEDIA, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN
I have had the honor to be an affiliated faculty member of the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising where I work with other advertising researchers to push forward the field of computational advertising.
CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF SCIENTIST, MARKETING AI PARTNERS
I helped start a new company focused on bringing data science consulting and platform building to the industry sectors of marketing and advertising. More information can be found at www.marketingaipartners.com.
What I’ve Learned
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: For my doctorate, I wanted to combine my skills in CS with what I learned about social psychology in advertising. My dissertation computationally looked at cause-related marketing, when brands partner with charities for commercial reasons.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: While working at UIUC in the technology field, I decided that I wanted to try something different academically. I have always been fascinated by advertising, wondering how it could so affect our social psychologies. My thesis was focused on the issue of choice overload, where having too much choice as a consumer can potentially bring negative outcomes psychologically.
SELECTED PROJECTS AND PUBLICATIONS
What I’m Working On or Have Completed
My full conference paper and journal publication history can be found in my CV.
CHALLENGES AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS OF COMPUTATIONAL ADVERTISING MEASUREMENT SYSTEMS
Where Does Advertising and Marketing Measurement Go From Here?
My colleagues and I tried to bring together much of the issues surrounding proper measurement of marketing and advertising in light of digital environments. We also proposed some future directions of consideration.
WHO/PAHO COVID-19 SOCIAL MEDIA ANALYTICS
Creating a Social Media Analytics Dashboard for COVID-19 for the Americas
I am leading a team currently that works directly with the Pan American Health Organization (sub-region of the World Health Organization) to create a social media analytics dashboard to support their fight against the COVID-19 infodemic.
THE SOCIAL MEDIA MACROSCOPE (SMM)
Making Data Science on Social Media Data Accessible for Everyone
The SMM is probably one of my most ambitious projects. Working together with the organization that created the first web browser (NCSA), I wanted to create a website that could help researchers analyze social media data without the need of a computer science background. This project is open-source, so please join us!
ARE WE WHO WE FOLLOW? COMPUTATIONALLY ANALYZING HUMAN PERSONALITY AND BRAND FOLLOWING ON TWITTER
Is the Technology Behind the Cambridge Analytica Scandal Hype or Real?
After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, I wanted to see if using machine-learned human personality assessments can be used to detect connections between consumers and brands. I found some initial evidence indicating that this methodology might be effective; I am presenting this research as both empirical progress, but also as cause for greater social awareness and scrutiny of what is possible with algorithmic assessments of psychology.
COMPUTATIONALLY ANALYZING SOCIAL MEDIA TEXT FOR TOPICS: A PRIMER FOR ADVERTISING RESEARCHERS
What are People Talking About on Social?
One of the things I am finding is helpful for the research community are brief primers on computational methods that are accessible to the non-computer scientist. This research focuses on explaining some of the main ways to detect topics of conversation within social media text.
EVALUATING EFFECTIVENESS OF CAUSE-RELATED MARKETING (CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY)
When companies like Coca-Cola partner with the World Wildlife Fund, how do consumers react?
Through this stream of research, I found that peoples' attitudes and strengths of their attitudes towards companies (e.g., Coca-Cola) can spillover into their attitudes and strengths of their attitudes to companies in partnership (e.g. the WWF).