NetSCI Lab

The NetSCI networks lab is directed by Drs. Marya Doerfel and Matthew Weber. In addition, we have three affiliated faculty members, a post-doctoral research associate and eight graduate students working with the lab. Below you’ll find information about our members and their individual research interests.

Co-Directors

Marya Doerfel’s research focuses on qualities of social network relationships impact organizations and their relational environments. I analyze network interactions and the content of communication to develop models of grass roots and community level development. With few exceptions, my research takes place in the field. I have conducted communication and network assessments inside organizations and in areas in which major transformation has affected interorganizational alliances or when such alliances facilitate transformation. Such work has been conducted in Croatia, during the country’s political transformation, in New Orleans, USA, following the devastation of physical and social infrastructures as a result of Hurricane Katrina, and most recently, in Kabul Afghanistan, where media-sector organizations and their community are developing.

Marya Doerfel

Co-Director, NetSCI Lab

Matthew Weber is an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication and Information. He received his PhD in 2010 from the Annenberg School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Southern California. He previously worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Technology, Entertainment and Media (CTEM) at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Matthew’s research examines organizational change and adaptation, both internal and external, in response to new information communication technology. His recent work focuses on the transformation of the news media industry in the United States in reaction to new forms of media production. This includes a large-scale longitudinal study examining strategies employed by media organizations for disseminating news and information in online networks. Matthew utilizes mixed methods in his work, including social network analysis, archival research and interviews.

Matthew Weber

Co-Director, NetSCI Lab

Faculty

Ingrid Erickson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Library and Information Science at the School of Communication & Information at Rutgers University. Her current research looks at the connection of mobile technology, social media and new forms of work practice and other types of organized behavior. She is also interested in sociotechnical innovations related to civic engagement and digital media and learning. She holds a Ph.D. from the Center for Work, Technology & Organization in the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University. Ingrid Erickson

Faculty, NetSCI Lab

Personal Website

Keith N. Hampton is the Endowed Professor in Communication and Public Policy and Co-Chair of the Social Media & Society Cluster in the School of Communication and Information, he is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, and an affiliate member of the graduate faculty in the Department of Sociology at Rutgers University. Hampton received his Ph.D. and M.A. in sociology from the University of Toronto. Before joining the faculty at Rutgers, he was an assistant professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, and Assistant Professor of Technology, Urban and Community Sociology & Class of ’43 Chair in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a past-Chair of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Communication and Information Technologies (CITASA). His research interests focus on the relationship between new information and communication technologies, social networks, democratic engagement, and the urban environment. Most recently, he has looked at the outcomes of persistent contact and pervasive awareness through social media, including stress, social isolation, exposure to diverse points of view, and willingness to voice opinions.

Keith Hampton

Faculty, NetSCI Lab

Paul McLean (Sociology) has focused on exploring the connections between multiple kinds of social networks—marriage networks, economic networks, and political patronage networks chiefly—and describing the cultural practices actors adopt to move within and across these networks. He has documented the development of elaborate strategies of self-presentation in Renaissance Florence—in articles (AJS 104,1:51-91 [1998]; CSSH 47, 3:638-64 [2005]), and in a book (The Art of the Network) from Duke University Press [2007]. He has studied Florentine market structure (Journal of Modern History 83, 1: 1-47 [2011] and AJS 111,4 [2006]) and the political organization of Polish elites (Theory and Society 33:167-212 [2004] as products of multiple-network dynamics. More recently he has participated in collaborative research exploring intersections of meaning and social network structure (Poetics 41: 122-50 [2013]; Social Networks 35: 499-513 [2013]). He has a growing interest in the social dynamics of videogame play, and in using a multiple-network perspective to understand the organization of academia. He has taught courses at Rutgers on social network analysis, social theory, political sociology, economic sociology, the sociology of culture, and the sociology of organizations. Paul McLean

Faculty, NetSCI Lab

Katherine (Katya) Ognyanova is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Department at the School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University. She does work in the areas of computational social science and network analysis. Her research has a broad focus on the impact of technology on social structures, political and civic engagement, and the media system.

Prior to her appointment at Rutgers, Katherine was a postdoctoral researcher at the Lazer Lab, Northeastern University and a fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University. She holds a doctoral degree in Communication from the University of Southern California.

For more information visit Katya’s website at www.kateto.net or follow her on Twitter at @Ognyanova.

Katherine (Katya) Ognyanova

Faculty, NetSCI Lab

Hana Shepherd is an Assistant Professor in Sociology. Her work focuses on three areas: the relationship between individual cognition, social norms, and social networks; cognitive and social psychological accounts of culture; and the relationship between organizational procedures and inequality. She uses diverse methods including network analysis, lab and field-based experiments, interviews, and archival research. She is currently studying network structure and network change using data from a field experiment that she co-directed in 56 middle schools in New Jersey, the Roots Program. The intervention program worked with randomly selected students and assessed how those students influenced their peers and the climate of the school as a whole. As part of the intervention assessment, the project collected complete longitudinal network data for all 56 schools. Her other projects use measures from cognitive psychology for the study of culture and behavior change. She received her Ph.D. in 2011 from Princeton University. Before coming to Rutgers, she was a postdoctoral research associate and lecturer in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Department of Psychology at Princeton University. Hana Shepherd

Faculty, NetSCI Lab

Graduate Students

Personal Website

Jack Harris is a doctoral student at Rutgers School of Communication and Information and is a SC&I Fellow there. He was previously a Governor’s Executive Fellow at Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics and holds undergraduate degrees in History and Political Science. Prior to returning to academia Jack worked in strategy consulting, corporate & technology research, knowledge management and strategic communications in New York City and Minneapolis. He has served on the board of directors for national, state and local nonprofits and worked on congressional and statewide campaigns. Jack’s areas of focus include collaboration, decision-making, governance, and communication technologies with a focus on how interaction and collaboration are constructed across organizations struggling with complex, crisis-driven or intractable issues and decisions. He is particularly interested in issues of environmental risk and climate change adaptation, coastal management, community/organizational recovery after disaster, food systems and in questions of voice — whose voice gets heard and why in collaboration and decision-making.

Jack Harris

Graduate Student, NetSCI Lab

Heewon Kim is a doctoral candidate in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University. Before joining Rutgers, she studied at Yonsei University in South Korea, and worked at Daum Communications Corp. (search engine/portal company) and NCSOFT Corp. (3D game company) as a researcher. She mainly investigates how individuals mobilize various resources through social relations and the use of technology. Her current projects include the use of social media and its impact on knowledge sharing and social connectivity in organizations, social support mobilization using social media and mobile devices, and social network transformation in mixed-mode groups. Heewon Kim

Graduate Student, NetSCI Lab

Allie Kosterich is a PhD student in the School of Communication & Information at Rutgers University. Allie’s research focuses on media transformation, particularly at the intersection of organizations, institutions, and digital technologies. These interests stem in part from her professional media background, which includes management and production positions in newsrooms and television studios. Allie utilizes mixed methods in her work, including network analysis, archival research, and interviews. She can be followed on Twitter @allkost.

Allie Kosterich

Graduate Student, NetSCI Lab

Teis M. Kristensen is a PhD student at the School of Communication and Information. He received his master’s degree in 2014 from the Brain Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University. His research is focused on the role communication plays in organizing and technological processes. In doing so Teis’ work primarily takes a network approach to understand the role of communicative interactions in regards to creativity and innovation. To examine the communicative aspect of creativity and innovation Teis’ research aims to use a multitude of study designs (experimental, cross-sectional, and longitudinal study designs), types of data (survey, mobile, and digital trace data), and analysis techniques. Teis Kristensen

Graduate Student, NetSCI Lab

Weixu Lu is a doctoral student in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University. He received his M.A. and B.A. in sociology from East China Normal University, where he studied the issues of highly-educated urban immigrants and urban policy. His current research interests focus on the differentiated use of communication technologies, social networks, and ethnic social media. He can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/weixulu, and on Weibo at weibo.com/1879442047 Weixu Lu

Graduate Student, NetSCI Lab

Ziad is a doctoral student at SC&I, specializing in Information Science. His over-arching goals include to better understand why and how we use ICTs (specifically, social media), including all the ways we never intended to use them! He is interested in using social media tools in novel ways to help us understand new and interesting things about ourselves, our social networks, our communities, and our neighborhoods. Methodologically, he likes working with big data and wants to grow up to be a decent mixed-methods kind of researcher. Ziad has a masters of science in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California and worked in several engineering and management positions in the electronics communication industry for about 13 years before succumbing to the siren call of academia. Ziad Matni

Graduate Student, NetSCI Lab

Wei Shi is a second year PhD student at Rutgers University School of Communication and Information. Before joining Rutgers, she studied Intercultural Communication at University of Pennsylvania and worked at IBM China as a talent program designer. She primarily use quantitative research methods and network approach to study workplace knowledge sharing, dynamics in global organization, social implications of communication technology use, and entrepreneurial processes. Wei Shi

Graduate Student, NetSCI Lab

Alumni

Yannick C. Atouba (M.S., North Dakota State University; Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) is a post-doctoral scholar in organizational communication and organizational studies at the School of Communication and information at Rutgers University. His research focuses on interorganizational forms, processes, and outcomes, especially among nonprofits, and the examination of organizational stakeholder’s behaviors and attitudes, and their impact on organizations and organizing. He primarily uses quantitative methods and social network analysis to examine interorganizational phenomena and his research has been published in the Journal of Communication, Communication Yearbook, Management Communication Quarterly, and is forthcoming in many other outlets. Yannick Atouba

Post-Doctoral Research Assistants, NetSCI Lab

Young Hoon is currently a doctoral candidate in the department of Communication at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He earned his Master of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media from Michigan State University. His research interests include transactive memory system in global virtual teams, and use of social media in organizational contexts. Young Hoon

Alumni, NetSCI Lab

Nik Ahmad Rozaidi is a Bank Negara Malaysia scholar with a 17-year industry experience in central banking, corporate communication, and web design. He earned his Master of Information degree from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, specializing in social computing; Master of Information Management from Universiti Teknologi Mara, Malaysia; as well as a bachelor’s degree in economics and accounting from University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. Nik is researching the use of social media in organizations for knowledge sharing, specifically on the technology affordances and the characteristics of work that may benefit from the social media-generated information of connected users in the organization. Nik Ahmad Rozaidi

Alumni, NetSCI Lab

Dr. Mengxiao Zhu is an associate research scientist in the Center for Advanced Psychometrics (CAP) within the Research and Development division atEducational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ. She received her Ph.D. Degree from the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences atNorthwestern Universityin 2012. She holds degrees in Communication (M.A.) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Computer Science (M.E. & B.E.) and Science and English (B.S.) from the University of Science and Technology of China. Prior to joining ETS, she worked as Post-doctoral Research Associate in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University, and Graduate Research Assistant in the Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Research Group led by Professor Noshir Contractor. She has been involved in several NSF and NIH -funded projects focusing on computer-mediated communication in emergency response teams, and on the development of knowledge networks and the dynamics of collaborations both in real world, such as research institutions, and in virtual worlds, such as Second Life and online role-playing games. Her current research focuses on psychometrics for the new generation of assessments, including psychometric models for collaborative problem solving, data mining techniques applied on assessment data, simulations and games in assessment, and integration of cognitive science with psychometrics. Mengxiao Zhu

Alumni, NetSCI Lab