Research Interests

I am a doctoral student studying information science. My research interests are in understanding how community-level forces shape individual and organizational behavior; how the information landscape of a local community is affected by community factors/features; and how community problems can be solved through implementing socio-technical strategies.

Through research studies, I want to further conceptualize the dynamics of a city and people's access to local information, and ultimately contribute to civic engagement, policy making, and organizational and/or information accessibility theories. The relevant fields to my research interests include, but are not limited to, HCI & community, community informatics, and urban computing.


I have been working with Dr. Brian Butler as my advisor in the doctoral program at the University of Maryland’s iSchool. I am also actively working with Dr. Richard Marciano (Digital Curation Innovation Center), Dr. Ping Wang (UMD iSchool), Dr. Grant McKenzie (UMD Geographical Sciences and HCIL), and Dr. Afra Mashhadi (UW Sociology). 

I am a Junior Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of Communities and Information (CASCI), a research network in the iSchool; also I am a Data Science & Technology Fellow at The Center for Open Data Enterprise, a non-profit that advocates for open data movements, where I led the development of the Open Data Impact Map in 2016 and currently advise the SDG National Reporting Initiative on data management and technical strategy.

My Background

Before beginning my studies at Maryland's iSchool, my focus was mainly on computing systems and software engineering including signal processing (e.g., image and sound data processing) and embedded software (i.e., low-level customized software for computing devices). For my master's thesis, I designed a MapReduce-inspired software framework for swarm robot systems to reduce the complexity of application development while allowing energy-efficient transmissions of robots' sensory data. At that time, I read Swarm Intelligence (Kennedy et al., 2001), and was intrigued by the underlying philosophy of swarm robot systems, which assumed that intelligence was possible only when multiple agents exchanged their different perceptions of information. This raised my intellectual curiosity for people's use and exchange of information that resulted in high intelligence of humans, and eventually led me to pursue studies in the field of Information Science.