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.