I am a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Information at University of Michigan. I am fortunate to be advised by Prof. Qiaozhu Mei and be a member of the Foreseer Group. Previously, I received my bachelor degree in Computer Science from Peking University, with a double major in Economics.

I am interested in recommender system, and in general data mining. I am interested in understanding user behaviors from empirical data and design systems that make impact. To achieve this goal, I want to harness both machine learning algorithms and causal inference techniques. Here is my CV.



See also my Google Scholar profile

  • Lingyu Zhang, Wei Ai, Chuan Yuan, Yuhui Zhang, Jieping Ye.
    Taxi or Hitchhiking: Predicting Passenger's Preferred Service on Ride Sharing Platforms.
    In Proceedings of the 41th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retreval (SIGIR'18), pp. 1041-1044. (short paper, 30% acceptance) [PDF][Web]

  • Zhenpeng Chen, Xuan Lu, Wei Ai, Huoran Li, Qiaozhu Mei, Xuanzhe Liu.
    Through a Gender Lens: Learning Usage Patterns of Emojis from Large-Scale Android Users.
    In Proceedings of the Web Conference 2018 (WWW'18), pp. 763-772, 2018. (15% acceptance) [PDF] [Web]

  • Xuanzhe Liu*, Wei Ai*, Huoran Li, Jian Tang, Gang Huang, Feng Feng, Qiaozhu Mei. (* = equal contribution)
    Derive User Preferences of Mobile Apps from their Management Activities.
    ACM Transactions on Information System (TOIS), vol. 35, no. 4, article 39, 2017. [PDF] [Web]

  • Wei Ai, Xuan Lu, Xuanzhe Liu, Ning Wang, Gang Huang, Qiaozhu Mei.
    Untangling Emoji Popularity through Semantic Embeddings.
    In Proceedings of the 11th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM'17), pp. 2-11, 2017. (14% acceptance) [PDF] [Web]

  • Wei Ai, Roy Chen, Yan Chen, Qiaozhu Mei, Webb Phillips.
    Recommending teams promotes pro-social lending in online microfinance.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), vol. 113, no. 52, pp. 14944-14948, 2016. [PDF] [Web]

  • Xuan Lu, Wei Ai, Xuanzhe Liu, Qian Li, Qiaozhu Mei, Ning Wang, Gang Huang.
    Learning from the Ubiquitous Language: An Empirical Analysis of Emoji Usage of Smartphone Users.
    In Proceedings of the 2016 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing. (UbiComp'16), pp. 770-780, 2016. (26% acceptance) [PDF] [Web]

  • Huoran Li*, Wei Ai*, Xuanzhe Liu, Jian Tang, Gang Huang, Feng Feng, Qiaozhu Mei. (* = equal contribution)
    Voting with Their Feet: Inferring User Preferences from App Management Activities.
    In Proceedings of the 25th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW’16), pp. 1351-1362, 2016. (industry track) [PDF] [Web]

  • Huoran Li, Wei Ai, Xuanzhe Liu, Qiaozhu Mei, and Feng Feng.
    A Descriptive Analysis of a Large-Scale Collection of App Management Activities.
    In Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web Companion (WWW’15), pp. 61-62, 2015. (poster, 30% acceptance) [PDF] [Web]

  • Lei Chen, Yimin Hu, Wei Ai, Junfeng Hu.
    Extraction of Power Relationship in the Story of Stone Corpus and Construction of Social Network with Power Relationship.
    Journal of Chinese Information Processing, vol. 29, no. 5, pp. 185-194, 2015. (In Chinese) [PDF] [Web]


  • Graduate Student Instructor, 2017.1 -- 2017.4, 2017.9 -- 2017.12.
    SI650 Information Retrieval, University of Michigan, Winter 2017 & Fall 2017.

  • Graduate Student Instructor, 2016.9 - 2016.12
    SI301 Models of Social Information Processing, University of Michigan, Fall 2016.

  • Teaching Assistant, 2013.2 - 2013.6
    Data Structure and Algorithm, Peking University, Spring 2013.

  • Data Scientist Intern at Didi Chuxing, 2017.7 – 2017.8, 2018.1 - 2018.2

  • Software Engineer Intern at Twitter, 2015.5 - 2015.8

  • Volunteer Intern at Kiva.org, 2014.5

  • Software Engineer Intern at Tencent, 2013.4 - 2013.6

Professional Service

Conference Organizor
  • Student Volunteer Chair for SIGIR 2018
Conference PC Member
  • WSDM 2018, 2019

  • WWW (poster track) 2018

  • ICWSM 2018

Workshop Organizor
  • InTI2018: 1st SIGIR Workshop on Intelligent Transportation Informatics
Workshop PC Member
  • MiLeTS18: 4th SIGKDD Workshop on Mining and Learning from Time Series.

  • Emoji2018: 1​st​ International Workshop on Emoji Understanding and Applications in Social Media (Co-located with ICWSM'18)

Journal Reviewer
  • ACM Transactions on Big Data (TBD)
  • IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering (TKDE)
  • Management Science