New Faculty Member

Dr. Zhang standing and smiling.

Dr. Zhang

Published March 5, 2020

The Department of Communication welcomes Dr. Yini Zhang to the faculty as Assistant Professor. Dr. Zhang received her doctorate in communication, with a minor in quantitative methods in education psychology, at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Her research concerns the processes and outcomes of public opinion in a shifting communication ecology, using computational approaches. Specifically, she focuses on 1) how public attention is assembled around a certain object on social media and how it intersects with media attention; 2) how people express opinions on social media and how their opinion expression interacts with media coverage; and 3) how computational techniques can be harnessed and developed to facilitate communication research. She and her collaborators created a system that tracks Twitter opinion leaders’ opinion expression on a daily basis. They also develop methods like targeted sampling of large networks and word-graph based sampling of large corpus.

Prior to Madison, she interned at University of Maryland, College Park and received her M.A. in Journalism at Renmin University of China.