Jonathan Visited to PHBS in Shenzhen

September 27, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News, Visit 

Jonathan Zhu paid an intensive visit to Peking University HSBC Business School (PHBS) on Sept 25, 2019, where he met half a dozen senior and junior faculty members individually, each for half-hour long, and gave a seminar talk to faculty and graduate students on “Computational approaches to communication research: theory, methods, and applications”.

Located in Shenzhen University Zone, PHBS houses a body of highly international faculty and students, with all teaching and learning conducted in English.  It also runs an overseas campus in Oxford, which is likely to be the first of the kind in China. Of the graduate programs is an MA in Financial Journalism, whose faculty members and students working on a range of topics overlapped with those of Web Mining Lab.

“Two members of our Lab graduated from your program, and we used to work with Dr. Kai Lei and his ICNLab of School of Electronic and Computer Engineering on your campus,” said Jonathan at the beginning of his talk, “the visit today opens a new channel and a new direction of collaborations between us”.  In addition to computational communication research, Web Mining Lab’s mapping studies of SSCI publications have also attracted keen interests from PHBS scholars.

Lab Members Participated in CCR Panel at SMP 2019

September 25, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Conference, News 

The 8th Chinese National Conference on Social Media Processing was held in Shenzhen, China on August 16~18. Several lab members played active roles in a Computational Communication Research Panel.
Lun Zhang (an associate professor at Beijing Normal University) hosted the division. Xiaofan Liu gave a talk on “the Fragmentation and Centralization of Communication Research”.
Hai Liang (an assistant professor at Chinese University of Hong Kong) gave a speech about the social contagion during the information diffusion process.

Paper on mobile health apps published

May 25, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

The article, entitled “Who is tracking health on mobile devices: A behavioral logfile analysis in Hong Kong”, has been published on JMIR mHealth and uHealth by Lu Guan, Tai-quan Peng, and Jonathan Zhu. In their article, they analyzed users’ mHealth app activities from a representative panel of about 2500 users in Hong Kong. Their findings suggest the use of mHealth apps demonstrates a significant temporal pattern and such temporal pattern is moderated by individuals’ demographic characteristics.

Lingfei Wu accepts faculty position at University of Pittsburgh

May 7, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

Congratulations to Dr. Lingfei Wu, who has accepted a faculty position in the School of Computing and Information at the University of Pittsburgh.

After graduation from the Web Mining Lab in 2013, Lingfei worked at Baidu, Arizona State University and University of Chicago, respectively. He has published dozens of articles in top-tier journals, including Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Scientific Reports, Physica A, and Physical Review E. His work has been supported by Tencent Research Institute, National Science Foundation, and Kaifeng Foundation.

The School of Computing and Information at the University of Pittsburgh is ranked 10th in the list of Best Library and Information Studies Programs by US News & World Report. Lingfei will start as an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in the fall semester of 2019.

Special issue on computational social science (CSS) published at Asian Journal of Communication

April 17, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

Asian Journal of Communication, an SSCI journal with a dedicated focus on Asian communication research, has published a special issue co-edited by three members of the lab, Dr. Jonathan Zhu, Dr. Winson Peng, and Dr. Hai Liang. The full volume can be accessed at

The theme of the special issue is “Introducing Computational Social Science for Asia-Pacific Communication Research”. A community of active researchers from Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, and the United States outlines major computational methods closely related to communication research, including user analytics, online experiments, and text mining. They demonstrate how these computational methods can be applied to address theoretical and practical research questions in Asia-Pacific societies.

In the editorial of the special issue, the three co-editors highlight that computational social science (CSS) is not a mechanical piece-together of social science and computer science. CSS represents a paradigm shift in social science that pose equally, if not more, rigorous demands for theorization, research design, statistical analysis, and results presentation. Computational thinking and methods can offer communication researchers enriched opportunities to explore and can stimulate communication researchers to think outside the box. It is not beyond the reach of communication researchers to incorporate computational thinking and methods in their own research. They argue that some old-school principles in social science research (e.g. measurement validity, causal inference, unit of analysis) still rule in the age of CSS.

Dr. Jonathan Zhu is the Founding Director of the Web Mining Lab and the Chair Professor of Computational Social Science with a joint appointment at the Department of Media and Communication and School of Data Science at the City University of Hong Kong. Drs. Winson Peng and Hai Liang are Ph.D. graduates of the Web Mining Lab, who are now faculty members at Michigan State University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, respectively.


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