Yini Zhang (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin–Madison) uses computational methods and big data to study social media and political communication. Her approach considers both the technological/structural and user aspects of social media. Specifically, her research program is driven by three interlinked questions: 1) How do social media platforms facilitate communication and interaction on social media? 2) How do users shape the social media ecosystem and how do they play a role in the larger media ecosystem? 3) What are the broader implications of the current media ecosystem for our mediated world and public life? She also collaborates with experts in other disciplines to pose new questions and develop new methods to advance communication research.