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.

Selected Publications

See also my Google Scholar profile

  • Emoji Promotes Developer Participation and Issue Resolution on GitHub
    Yuhang Zhou, Xuan Lu, Ge Gao, Qiaozhu Mei, Wei Ai
    ICWSM 2024, to appear.

  • Team Resilience under Shock: An Empirical Analysis of GitHub Repositories during Early COVID-19 Pandemic
    Xuan Lu, Wei Ai, Yixin Wang, Qiaozhu Mei
    ICWSM 2023. [pdf, arXiv]

  • Putting Teams into the Gig Economy: A Field Experiment at a Ride-sharing Platform
    Wei Ai, Yan Chen, Qiaozhu Mei, Jieping Ye, and Lingyu Zhang
    Management Science, 2023. [pdf, html]

  • Virtual teams in a gig economy
    Teng Ye, Wei Ai, Yan Chen, Qiaozhu Mei, and Jieping Ye
    PNAS, 2022. [pdf, html]

  • #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. [pdf, 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]

  • 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]