Jana Diesner

Associate Professor and BSIS Program Director

PhD, Computation, Organizations, and Society, Carnegie Mellon University

Other professional appointments

Faculty Affiliate, Department of Computer Science
Faculty Affiliate, Information Trust Institute (ITI)
Faculty Affiliate, Illinois Informatics Institute (I3)

Research focus

Human-centered data science, computational social science, network science, natural language processing, machine learning, data regulations, crisis informatics, impact assessment.

Honors and Awards

  • Leadership Academy Fellow for underrepresented leaders in STEM higher education, awarded by National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse STEM Faculty (ASPIRE), 2020
  • R.C. Evans Data Analytics Fellow, University of Illinois-Deloitte Foundation Center for Business Analytics, 2018
  • CIO Scholar for Information Research & Technology, 2018
  • Linowes Fellowship, Cline Center for Advanced Social Research, Illinois, 2018
  • Dori J. Maynard Senior Fellow, The Center for Investigative Reporting and The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, 2016
  • Faculty Fellow, National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), 2015
  • Siebel Scholarship, awarded annually for academic excellence and demonstrated leadership to 80 top students from the world’s leading graduate schools ($35,000), 2011


Jana Diesner is an associate professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her research in Social Computing, Human-Centered Data Science and Responsible Computing combines the benefits of large-scale data analytics with the consideration of social contexts and ethical concerns.

In her work, Diesner combines methods from network science, natural language processing and machine learning with theories from the social sciences, humanities and linguistics to advance knowledge and discovery about interaction-based and information-based systems. She holds courtesy appointments at the Department of Computer Science, the Illinois Informatics Institute (I3), the Information Trust Institute (ITI), and the Cline Center for Advanced Social Research at UIUC. Diesner has a PhD from the Computation, Organizations and Society (COS) program at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science.

Recognition for her research expertise includes appointments as an ASPIRE Leadership Academy Fellow (2020), CIO Scholar for Information Research and Technology at Illinois (2018), Natural Language Processing Expert in Residence for the Champaign Research Park (2018), Linowes Fellow at the Cline Center for Advanced Social Research (2018), National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) Faculty Fellow (2015), and Dori J. Maynard Senior Research Fellow (2016).

Office hours

By appointment, please contact professor

Publications & Papers

Parulian, N., Lu, T., Mishra, S., Avram, M., & Diesner, J. (2020). Effectiveness of the execution and prevention of metric-based adversarial attacks on social network data. Information, 11(6), 306. doi: 10.3390/info11060306 

Hilbert, M., Barnett, G., Blumenstock, J., Contractor, N., Diesner, J., Frey, S., Gonzales-Bailon, S., Lambderson, P.J., Pan, J., Peng, T.-Q., Shen, C., Smaldino, P.E., van Atteveldt, W., Waldherr, A., Zhan, J., Zhu, J.J.H. (2019). Computational communication science: A methodological catalyzer for a maturing discipline. International Journal of Communication, 13(2019), 3912-3934. Available at https://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/10675 

Kim, J., & Diesner, J. (2019). Formational bounds of link prediction in collaboration networks. Scientometrics. doi: 10.1007/s11192-019-03055-6 

Mishra, S., Fegley, B.D., Diesner, J., & Torvik, V.I. (2018). Self-citation is the hallmark of productive authors, of any gender. PLoS ONE, 13(9): e0195773. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0195773

Abdelzaher T., Ayanian N., Basar T., Diesner J., Diggavi S., Ganesan D., Govindan R., Jha S., Lepoint T., Marlin B., Nahrstedt K., Nicol D., Rajkumar R., Russell S., Seshia S., Sha F., Shenoy P., Srivastava M., Sukhatme G., Swami A., Tabuada P., Towsley D., Vaidya N., & Veeravalli V. (2018). Toward an Internet of Battlefield Things: A resilience perspective. IEEE Computer 51(11), 24-36. doi: 10.1109/MC.2018.2876048

Sarol, J., Dinh, L., and Diesner, J. (2021). Information biases in situational awareness of crisis events due to data, method, and implementation choices for text mining. Proceedings of International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM) 2021. Venice, Italy.

Rezapour, R., Diesner, J., Bopp, J., Fiedler, N., Steffen, D., Witt A. (2020). Beyond citation: corpus-based methods for assessing the impact of research outcomes on society. Proceedings of 12th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC). Marseille, France.

Jiang, M., Huang, Q., Wang, X., Zhang, L., Zhang, P., Gan, Z., Diesner, J., Gao, J. (2019). TIGEr: Text-to-Image Grounding for image caption Evaluation. Proceedings of Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP), Hong Kong. doi: 10.18653/v1/D19-1220

Jiang, M., Hu, J., Huang. Q., Zhang, L., Diesner, J., Gao, J. (2019). REO-Relevance, Extraness, Omission: A fine-grained evaluation for image captioning. Proceedings of Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP), Hong Kong. doi: 10.18653/v1/D19-1156

Rezapour, R., Ferronato, P., & Diesner, J. (2019). How do moral values differ in tweets on social movements? Poster in Proceedings of 22nd ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW), Austin, Texas. doi: 10.1145/3311957.3359496

Addawood, A., Balakumar, P., Diesner, J. (2019). Categorization and comparison of influential Twitter users and sources referenced in tweets for two health-related topics. iConference. Washington, DC. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-15742-5_60

Addawood, A., Alshamrani, A., Alqahtani, A., Diesner, J., & Broniatowski, D. (2018). Women's driving in Saudi Arabia – Analyzing the discussion of a controversial topic on Twitter. Short paper in International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling & Prediction and Behavior Representation in Modeling and Simulation (SBP-BRiMS 2018), Washington, DC.

Abdelzaher, T., Ayanian, N., Basar, T., Diggavi, S., Diesner, J., Ganesan, D., Govindan, R., Jha, S., Lepoint, T., Marlin, B., Nahrstedt, K., Nicol, D., Rajkumar, R., Russell, S., Seshia, S., Sha, F., Shenoy, P., Srivastava, M., Saukhatme, G., Swami, A., Tabuada, P., Towsley, D., Vaidya, N., & Veeravalli, V. (2018). Will distributed computing revolutionize peace? The emergence of battlefield IoT. Proceedings of 38th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing (ICDCS 2018), Vienna, Austria. doi: 10.1109/ICDCS.2018.00112

Mishra, S., & Diesner J. (2018). Detecting the correlation between sentiment and user-level and text-level meta-data from benchmark corpora. Proceedings of 29th ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media (HT’18), Baltimore, MD. (Acceptance Rate = 29%). doi: 10.1145/3209542.3209562

Kim, J., & Diesner, J. (2017). Over-time measurement of triadic closure in coauthorship networks. Social Network Analysis and Mining (SNAM), 7(9). doi:10.1007/s13278-017-0428-3

Kim, J., & Diesner, J. (2015). The effect of data pre-processing on understanding the evolution of collaboration networks. Journal of Informetrics, 9(1), 226-236. doi: 10.1016/j.joi.2015.01.002 (IF 2.920)

Kim, J., & Diesner, J. (2015). Coauthorship networks: A directed network approach considering the order and number of coauthors. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIS&T), 66(12), 2685-2696. doi: 10.1002/asi.23361 (IF 2.322)

Kim, J., & Diesner, J. (2014). A network-based approach to coauthorship credit allocation. Scientometrics, 101(1), 587-602. doi: 10.1007/s11192-014-1253-3 (IF 2.147)

Diesner, J., Frantz, T., & Carley, K.M. (2005). Communication networks from the Enron email corpus “It's always about the people Enron is no different”. Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, 11(3), 201-228. doi: 10.1007/s10588-005-5377-0 (IF 0.769)

Diesner, J. (2015) Small decisions with big impact on data analytics. Big Data & Society, special issue on Assumptions of Sociality, 2(2). doi:  10.1177/2053951715617185

Rezapour, R., & Diesner, J. (2017). Classification and detection of micro-level impact of issue-focused films based on reviews. Proceedings of 20th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW), (pp. 1419-1431), Portland, OR. doi: 10.1145/2998181.2998201

Diesner, J., & Evans, C. (2015). Little bad concerns: Using sentiment analysis to assess structural balance in communication networks. Proceedings of IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining (ASONAM). Paris, France. doi: 10.1145/2808797.2809403 (Acceptance Rate = 13%)

Diesner, J., & Chin, C. (2016). Gratis, libre, or something else? Regulations and misassumptions related to working with publicly available text data. ETHI-CA² Workshop (ETHics in Corpus Collection, Annotation & Application), 10th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC), Portoroz, Slovenia.

Diesner, J. (2015). Words and networks: How reliable are network data constructed from text data? In Bertino E, Matai SA (Eds.), Roles, trust, and reputation in social media knowledge markets (pp. 81-89). Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-05467-4_5


5th International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2), Amsterdam, Netherlands: “Responsible Social Computing: Validating Network Data and Theory” (2019)

Digital Humanities in D-A-CH (DHd), Frankfurt, Germany: “Understanding Social Structure and Behavior through Responsible Mixed-Methods Research: Bias Detection, Theory Validation, and Data Governance” (2019)

European Computational Social Science Symposium (EuroCSS), Workshop on Reframing Research, Cologne, Germany: “Responsible Social Computing: Validating Network Data and Theory” (2018)

Annual Conference of the German Association for Network Research (DGNet), Darmstadt, Germany: “Responsible Social Computing” (2018)
Ethics in a Data-Driven World Symposium, Deloitte Foundation Center for Business Analytics, UIUC: “Practical Ethics and Responsible Computing” (2018)

Historical Network Research (HNR) Conference, Brno, Czech Republic: “Bias Detection and Theory Validation in Social Network Analysis” (2018)

Collaborative Research on Extreme Scale Text Analytics (CRESTA) Workshop, UIUC: “Human Centered Computing: Innovating compliantly and transparently” (2018)

Keynote talk: COINs (Collaborative Innovation Networks) Conference, Rome, Italy: Words and Networks: Using Natural Language Processing to Enhance Graphs and Test Network Theories (2016)

Keynote talk: GOR (General Online Research) Conference, Dresden, Germany: Rich and Reliable Signals: Making Responsible Choices for Working with Social Interaction Data (2016)

Keynote talk: NetGlow Conference, Saint-Petersburg, Russia: Socio-semantic network (2014)

Keynote talk: Ditact Conference – women’s IT studies, University Salzburg, Austria: Computational Thinking in the playroom, classroom, boardroom (2014)

Keynote talk: DISC (Daegu International Social Network Conference), Daegu, South Korea: Words and Networks (2013)

Keynote talk: Future of Historical Network Research Conference, Hamburg, Germany: Of micro-scopes and telescopes in the digital humanities and computational social sciences (2013)

Invited talk: European Forum Alpbach, Austria: Computational Problem Solving: Transformative Progress and Key Issues ?with Human Centered Data Science (2016)

Invited talk: IT Defense Conference, Frankfurt, Germany: Network Analysis and Text Mining for Detecting and Examining the Structure, Functioning and Evolution of Covert Networks (2011)

Invited talk: Sundance Institute, Creative Producing Summit: Impact Assessment of Social Justice Documentaries (2013)

Invited talk: Open Science Conference, Berlin, Germany: Innovating compliantly and transparently - road blocks, myths and solutions (2017)