QCRI’s Social Computing department performs multi-disciplinary research, combining computer science and social sciences to address problems of societal relevance.
Methodologically, our principal sub-areas are: (i) computational social science: studying human behavior at scale; (ii) social analytics: applying machine learning to social data to build models for various applications; and (iii) hybrid collaborative intelligence: supporting the collaboration between humans and machines for information processing tasks.
Thematically, our department is organized by application areas: health, urban computing, crisis computing and news. The researchers in each focus area work with local stakeholders to generate science and systems that are relevant to the region, while producing global impact. Our efforts in these four areas include:
- Public Health Informatics for Healthy Living: Working closely with local domain experts, we develop mobile and wearable technologies to promote healthy living of individuals, communities and populations. Part of our work also focuses on analyzing and visualizing social media data to better understand public health concerns, especially lifestyle-related issues.
- Using big data to understand urban dynamics in fast growing cities: Data from social media is complementary to physical sensors and can be exploited to better “sense” the city for improving urban services and city planning. We are working on a platform for integrating data from disparate physical and social sensors and we are developing novel analytical approaches to mine such data and design smart city apps for residents.
- Extracting Timely and Credible Information from Social Media for Crisis Response: We conduct applied and core computer science research and build innovative technologies to improve the effectiveness of humanitarian response during emergencies. Our research and development efforts focus on consuming both textual and visual social media content and is coordinated in collaboration with several regional and global partners.
- News and Social Media Analytics: We conduct research to understand, predict and improve the dissemination of online news in all its forms. Our research objectives are to provide policy makers insights concerning the impact of online news, develop methods leveraging social media and other online data to inform journalists and content providers allowing them to understand exposure in real time, and to build systems to enhance their impact.
For more details about our projects, demos, and publications, please visit our department page at sc.qcri.org.