Seed grants awarded to projects using Twitter data

Kristie Auman-Bauer
March 07, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute (SSRI), in collaboration with the Institute for CyberScience (ICS) and the College of Information Sciences and Technology, has awarded more than $100,000 in funding to support six new interdisciplinary teams of Penn State researchers whose work is aimed at developing innovative research programs using Twitter data.

“Twitter data provides significant opportunities to study social problems that cannot be easily addressed by traditional data, advancing the social and behavioral sciences,” said Guangqing Chi, associate professor of rural sociology and demography and public health sciences and director of the SSRI and PRI’s Computational and Spatial Analysis (CSA) Core.

Researchers from across Penn State are invited to use Twitter resources and infrastructure available through the CSA Core and the ICS’s Advanced CyberInfrastructure. The data can be used for a variety of research topics including human mobility; social network; sentiment; fake news; political engagement; emergency management and disaster relief; epidemics of opioid and infectious disease; and more. Twitter data can also be used for enriching surveys and can be linked to existing contextual data if geotagged as well as to data collected by mobile or wearable devices.

The funded projects and research teams are:

— “Explaining Susceptibility to Misinformation in Twitter Using Memory Illusion" — Dongwon Lee, College of Information Sciences and Technology; and Aiping Xiong, College of Information Sciences and Technology.

— “Food-Water-Energy Choices in Alaska: Mining People’s Perception and Attitudes from Geotagged Tweets” ­— Somayeh Asadi, College of Engineering; Guangqing Chi, College of Agricultural Sciences; and Junjun Yin, Computational and Spatial Analysis Core.

— “Regional Differences in Opinions Toward Climate Change Among Twitter Users” — Kenneth Huang, College of Information Sciences and Technology; John Yen, College of Information Sciences and Technology; and Guangqing Chi, College of Agricultural Sciences.

— “The predictive power of social media engagement on election results: An investigation of bandwagon effects using large-scale geo-tagged tweets” — Shyam Sundar, Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications; and Nilam Ram, College of Health and Human Development.

—“Understanding National Park Visitors’ Spatial Behavior with Twitter Data” — Bing Pan, College of Health and Human Development; Clio Andris, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; and Junjun Yin, Computational and Spatial Analysis Core.

— “What can social media sentiment analysis of flu risk and vaccine efficacy tell us about regional and demographic variations in flu vaccination rates?” — Suresh Kuchipudi, College of Agricultural Sciences; Shyam Sundar, Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications; and Guangqing Chi, College of Agricultural Sciences.

For more information on seed grant funding and other opportunities available through SSRI, visit the Funding Mechanisms website.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 14, 2019