I am an Assistant Professor in the College of Information Studies (iSchool) and the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) at the University of Maryland, College Park. I am a member of the CLIP Lab.

I am passionate about large-scale behavior data analysis. I use multi-disciplinary methodologies featuring machine learning, causal inference, and experimental design. I am interested in applied areas of data science such as data science for social good, computational social science, recommender systems, and social and information network analysis.

I received my Ph.D. from the School of Information at University of Michigan. I was fortunate to be advised by Prof. Qiaozhu Mei and be a member of the Foreseer Group. Here is my CV.

Prospective Students: I am always looking for strong students to join my adventure. Prospective PhD students please apply to our PhD program and note your interest in working with me in the statement. I'm also happy to work with masters or undergraduate students at UMD. If you are interested, please send me an email with your CV and transcript. I might not be able to reply all emails.


Publications

See also my Google Scholar profile

  • #Emoji: A Study on the Association between Emojis and Hashtags on Twitter
    Yuhang Zhou, Wei Ai
    ICWSM 2022. [pdf]

  • Emojis predict dropouts of remote workers: An empirical study of emoji usage on GitHub
    Xuan Lu, Wei Ai, Zhenpeng Chen, Yanbin Cao, Qiaozhu Mei
    PLOS ONE, 2022. [html]

  • Predicting Individual Treatment Effects of Large-scale Team Competitions in a Ride-sharing Economy
    Teng Ye, Wei Ai, Lingyu Zhang, Ning Luo, Lulu Zhang, Jieping Ye, Qiaozhu Mei
    KDD 2020. (Applied Data Science Track) [pdf]

  • Recommendation-based Team Formation for On-demand Taxi-calling Platforms
    Lingyu Zhang, Tianshu Song, Yongxin Tong, Zimu Zhou, Dan Li, Wei Ai, Lulu Zhang, Guobin Wu, Yan Liu, Jieping Ye
    CIKM 2019. [pdf]

  • Taxi or Hitchhiking: Predicting Passenger's Preferred Service on Ride Sharing Platforms
    Lingyu Zhang, Wei Ai, Chuan Yuan, Yuhui Zhang, Jieping Ye
    SIGIR 2018. (Short) [pdf]

  • Through a Gender Lens: Learning Usage Patterns of Emojis from Large-Scale Android Users
    Zhenpeng Chen, Xuan Lu, Wei Ai, Huoran Li, Qiaozhu Mei, Xuanzhe Liu
    TheWebConf (WWW) 2018. [pdf]

  • Derive User Preferences of Mobile Apps from their Management Activities
    Xuanzhe Liu*, Wei Ai*, Huoran Li, Jian Tang, Gang Huang, Feng Feng, Qiaozhu Mei. (* = equal contribution)
    TOIS, 2017. [pdf]

  • Untangling Emoji Popularity through Semantic Embeddings
    Wei Ai, Xuan Lu, Xuanzhe Liu, Ning Wang, Gang Huang, Qiaozhu Mei
    ICWSM 2017. [pdf]

  • Recommending teams promotes pro-social lending in online microfinance
    Wei Ai, Roy Chen, Yan Chen, Qiaozhu Mei, Webb Phillips
    PNAS, 2016. [pdf]

  • Learning from the Ubiquitous Language: An Empirical Analysis of Emoji Usage of Smartphone Users
    Xuan Lu, Wei Ai, Xuanzhe Liu, Qian Li, Qiaozhu Mei, Ning Wang, Gang Huang
    UbiComp 2016. [pdf]

  • Voting with Their Feet: Inferring User Preferences from App Management Activities
    Huoran Li*, Wei Ai*, Xuanzhe Liu, Jian Tang, Gang Huang, Feng Feng, Qiaozhu Mei. (* = equal contribution)
    WWW 2016. (industry track) [pdf]

  • A Descriptive Analysis of a Large-Scale Collection of App Management Activities
    Huoran Li, Wei Ai, Xuanzhe Liu, Qiaozhu Mei, and Feng Feng
    WWW 2015. (poster) [pdf]

  • Extraction of Power Relationship in the Story of Stone Corpus and Construction of Social Network with Power Relationship
    Lei Chen, Yimin Hu, Wei Ai, Junfeng Hu
    Journal of Chinese Information Processing (JCIP), 2015. (In Chinese) [pdf]


Teaching Experiences

University of Maryland
University of Michigan
Peking University
  • Data Structure and Algorithm, Peking University (Spring 2013)

Professional Activities and Service

Conference Organization
  • Student Volunteer Chair for SIGIR 2018
Workshop Organization
  • InTI2018: 1st SIGIR Workshop on Intelligent Transportation Informatics
Conference PC Member
  • ACM SIGIR 2019 -- 2022

  • ACM WSDM 2018 -- 2022

  • WWW 2018 (poster track), 2020

  • ICWSM 2018 -- 2022

  • SocInfo 2019, 2020

Workshop PC Member
  • MiLeTS18: the 4th SIGKDD Workshop on Mining and Learning from Time Series.

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

  • Emoji2019: the 2nd International Workshop on Emoji Understanding and Applications in Social Media (Co-located with WWW'18)

Journal Reviewer
  • ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology (TIST)
  • ACM Transactions on Big Data (TBD)
  • ACM Transactions on Social Computing (TSC)
  • ACM Transactions on Asian and Low-Resource Language Information Processing (TALLIP)
  • IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering (TKDE)
  • Management Science
  • Information Systems Research (ISR)
  • Journal of Computer Science and Technology (JCST)
  • Chinese Journal of Computers (CJC)
Departmental Service
  • Online Degree Task Force, School of Information, 2018
    I participated in proposing the new online Master's Degree in Applied Data Science.

  • Doctoral Committee Representative, School of Information, 2016 -- 2017
    I served as the student representative on the doctoral committee, which oversees the doctoral program of the school.

  • Doctoral Execute Committee, School of Information, 2014 -- 2015
    The committee represents and advocates for the interests of doctoral students in the school to the administration, faculty, and community at large.


Industrial Experiences

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

  • Software Engineer Intern at Twitter, 2015.5 - 2015.8

  • Software Engineer Intern at Tencent, 2013.4 - 2013.6