Associate Professor and PhD Program Director Jana Diesner gave a keynote talk and presented a paper at the 5th International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2), which was held July 17-20 at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. IC2S2 brings together academic researchers, industry experts, open data activists, and government agency workers to explore challenges, methods, and research questions in the field of computational social science.
Diesner gave a keynote talk, "Responsible Social Computing: Validating Network Data and Theory." She presented on her lab's research that shows how limitations with the provenance and quality of social interaction data can impact research results and theorizing about social behavior; and how methods from natural language processing and network analysis can be combined to advance knowledge about communication-based networks.
Diesner also presented "Self-Citation is the Hallmark of Productive Authors, of Any Gender," a paper coauthored by doctoral candidate Shubhanshu Mishra, Brent Fegley (MS/LIS '10, PhD Informatics '16), Associate Professor Vetle Torvik, and Diesner; and published in PLOS ONE. In their paper, the researchers show that "gender has the weakest effect on the probability of self-citation among an extensive set of features tested." Their finding also highlights that data quality issues and high attrition rates of female authors contribute to observed gender gaps in self-citation, not gender per se.
Diesner's research in human-centered data science and social computing combines methods from network science, natural language processing, and machine learning with theories from the social sciences and humanities to advance knowledge and discovery about interaction- and information-based systems. Recent recognition for her research expertise includes a Linowes Fellowship from the Cline Center for Advanced Social Research at Illinois, a R.C. Evans Data Analytics Fellowship from the Deloitte Foundation Center for Business Analytics at Illinois, and an appointment as the CIO Scholar for Information Research & Technology at Illinois. She received her PhD from Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science.