People

Faculty

D. Yvette Wohn, Associate Professor in Information Systems, NJIT (https://people.njit.edu/faculty/wohn or yvettewohn.com)

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Dr. Wohn is the director of the Social X Lab whose research area is in human-computer interaction (HCI) and computer-mediated communication. She studies the characteristics and consequences of social interactions in online environments such as livestreaming, esports, gaming, and social media. Her main projects examine 1) content moderation, online harassment and the creation/maintenance of online safe spaces, 2) social exchange in digital economies & digital patronage (creator-supporter dynamics), and 3) news consumption via social media.

Affiliated Faculty

Seong Jae (SJ) Min, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Pace University

Dr. Min is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Pace University’s New York City campus. He teaches and researches journalism and political communication, and is the author of a series of books investigating the role of journalism in American society. He is particularly interested in news consumption behaviors and social interactions online as they relate to political participation and democratic engagement.

Mashael Almoqbel, Faculty, Jubail University College, Saudi Arabia

Dr. Almoqbel is a faculty at Jubail University College, Saudi Arabia. Her research is in the area of public safety, social media, and social good. She is interested in bettering societies with HCI and communication theories. She had her Ph.D. in Information Systems at NJIT.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Rae Jereza

Dr. Jereza (they/them) is a sociocultural anthropologist with a research focus on labor in the digital economy and far-right metapolitics. They are particularly interested in how content moderators’ labor conditions affect the proliferation of far-right activities online. Currently, they are working on a project that compares the experiences of voluntary and commercial moderators to discern the organizational and technological factors that condition moderators’ working conditions. They are also working on a project that investigates how moderators apply hate speech policies with an eye towards the role of social positionalities (i.e. race, gender, class, ability) in moderators’ decision-making processes and affective experiences.

Graduate Students

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Jie Cai

I am a fifth-year Ph.D. student in information systems. My primary interests focus on phenomena in novel and interactive online communities in HCI and CSCW,  such as gaming, shopping, and content moderation. I also have a broad interest in teleworking and social music and other topics (welcome to discuss to collaborate). I applied both qualitative (e.g., interview, observation) and quantitative (e.g., survey) methods to understand users’ decision-making and behavioral patterns and aimed to improve user experience in the online space. My dissertation is about Understanding the Voluntary Moderation Practices in Live Streaming Communities. My personal web: https://jc926.github.io/Jie_Cai/

Azadeh Naderi

Azadeh Naderi is a Ph.D. student and research assistant at NJIT. She has an MBA degree as well as a BS degree in Electrical Engineering. Before joining NJIT, Azadeh worked as a project manager and system developer at a large insurance company. Her research falls in the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) interdisciplinary domain. Currently she is involved in projects that are focused on content moderation and digital patronage.

Lucy Feng

I am studying Interaction Technology at the University of Twente. I am interested in UX research. I am prone to understand how technology influences people’s behaviors and people’s problems and needs with technologies. With the knowledge of human-centered design, I would like to bridge human and technology together.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Ross Bonifacio

Ross is a junior year undergraduate Human-Computer Interaction major at NJIT. His current focus is on digital patronage platforms like Patreon and how technology can empower creators and the work they are passionate about. 

Cindy Gonzalez

Cindy Gonzalez is a sophomore majoring in Human-Computer Interaction at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. This is her first semester working in the Social Interaction Lab. Cindy is interested in learning UX design and conducting UX research. She is also interested in the psychological impact that technology has on its users and is looking forward to improving social impact by designing human-centered applications.

Reesha Ghandhi

Reesha Gandhi is currently a senior undergraduate student majoring in Human-Computer Interaction with a dual degree in Business Information Systems, with a minor in Psychology. This is her third year working in the lab. She has previously researched the relationship between Twitch users and the mental health community, and is currently researching socialization and relationship building during remote internships. She is eager to learn more about doing research in the HCI field in a professional setting. She hopes to gain new skills and experiences in this lab to one day better the lives of those around her. 

Soumya Khera

Soumya is a sophomore undergraduate student at NJIT. She hopes to learn about UX/UI and how to conduct research. Her aim is to work towards designing the user experience.

Nina LaMastra

Nina is an undergraduate Business and Information Systems major with a Human-Computer Interaction minor at NJIT. This is her fifth semester working with the lab, and she is currently researching parasocial relationships within fandom culture. Through research, she also hopes to develop her professional and analytical skills.

Anthony Lechner

Anthony is a senior year undergraduate student pursuing a B.S. in Cyberpsychology. Growing up in a world full of technology has inspired him to learn more about the social and psychological impacts of existing and developing technologies. He is excited to take the knowledge he learns during his time spent researching at the Social X Lab and use it to help understand the roles new technology plays in society. 

Livia Loi

Livia is a sophomore undergraduate student at NJIT with a major in Web and Information Systems and a minor in Design of the User Experience. This is her third semester conducting research with the Social Interaction Lab and she is eager to continue exploring the relationship between humans and technology. Her research interests include user experience design and behavioral data analysis to find potential solutions to human-centered problems.

Samantha Paradero

Samantha Paradero is a second-year undergraduate Human-Computer Interaction major. This is now her second semester at the Social Interaction Lab, where she is continuing to conduct research on parasocial relationships in fandom culture. Through further work at the lab, she hopes to develop new skills and experiences while collaborating with others.

Aashka Patel

Aashka Patel is pursuing a BS in Computer Science at NJIT with minors in Data Analytics and Business. This is her last semester in the Social Interaction Lab. In previous semesters, she has worked on several content moderation projects, conducted usability testing, and explored social media users’ cancel culture viewpoints.

Sarah Ryu

Sarah Ryu is currently a senior undergraduate student majoring in Human-Computer Interaction and minoring in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This is her seventh semester with the Social Interaction Lab at NJIT. In the past, she studied the applications of user experience design in child emotional development. She has also studied the effects of using work/social technology during the pandemic. Through research, she hopes to learn more about the relationships between humans and technology to one day improve those interactions for the greater good.

Jonathan Tan

Jonathan Tan is currently a senior undergraduate student pursuing a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science at NJIT.  He hopes to understand more about the breadth of this field, and develop theses for both undergraduate and graduate studies. Outside of studies, he enjoys spending time in nature hiking, hunting, running and adventuring.

Emilia Pham Ton

Emilia is currently a senior undergraduate in Human Computer Interaction. This is her second semester working in the lab. She’s eager to learn, understand and discover ways to improve our communication experience whether it is a conversation between humans using technology or an interaction of humans with technology. Outside of school and work, she’s an enthusiastic kpop fan who loves to bake sweet treats and watercolor sceneries.

Jira Uttarapong

Jira is an undergraduate Computer Science student at NJIT, with interests in online communities, A.I, data science, and video games. Their love for video games is their main drive for everything they do. Outside of school and work, she streams on Twitch and competitively plays video games, and is involved with the esports communities for these games. Having this background, she is a cofounder and current Social Media Manager of NJIT Esports. Also, being part of the LGBTQ+ community herself, she is a huge advocate and is also the Social Media Manager for NJIT’s Spectrum. She is very interested in the relationships between media, video games, and independent creators and the communities that form around them, as well as the platforms and technologies that foster these dynamics.  

High School Students

Hannah Cui

Hannah is a high school sophomore at Leonia High School. She is very excited to participate in the lab this semester again at the Social Interaction Lab. She has always been interested in how technologies alter the relationship among humans, and how we can further utilize technology to benefit society.  She also looks forward to divulging deeper into her interests as well as gaining insightful research skills along with others.  In her free time, she likes to read, go on long walks, and binge-watch Netflix shows!

Lab Alumni (participated two or more semesters & graduated)

Alan Cortes (2021 summer), Jordan Van Zyl (2021 spring), Masaho Shimobayashi (2020 spring), Anmol Jaswal (2020 spring), John Scott Siri (2020 spring), Peter Eskander (2020 spring), Peter Jough (2019 fall), Ankit Mittal (2019 spring), Juan Rios (2018 fall), Temilade Afolabi, Basma Abukwaik (2018 spring), Victor Chue, Anchita Komalchan Likhar, Indraneel Kulkarni (2017), Atisha Poojari (2016), Leiping Gong (2016), Calvin Allemand (2016), Emma Washington-Freeman (2016), Han Wang (2015), Rohit Kadam (2015).

Past Students 

Turki Alelyani, Nidhish Dave, Erick Sanchez, Yu Cao, Mary Schneider, Rempee Kalia, Cassio Maciel Leal, Roseli Andrion, Felipe Schiquetti, Mousa Ahmadi, Sona Patel, Kira Hoffman, Adam Spryzinski, Dhanush Sureshbabu, Yanira Morales, Lindsay Armour, James Bonilla, Kimberly Prince, Priya Rajbabu, Jack Campbell, Royer Zamudio, Angelica Braxton, Pradnya Desai, Tejas Patel, Christopher Simeone, Naitam Ghandi, Soojin Ahn, Mervyn Mathew, Jessy Martinez, Alyssa Maravilla, Fizah Fahad, Michael Wedderburn, Nick Nower, Vidhi Thakker, Meciel Guisihan, Karen Wu

Faculty/ Industry Collaborators

Louise Barkhuus, IT University of Copenhagen
Jeremy Birnholtz, Northwestern University Social Media Lab
Brian J. Bowe, Western Washington University
Caleb T. Carr, Illinois State University
Meeyoung Cha, KAIST
Eun-kyoung Choe, University of Maryland
Judith Deutsch, Rutgers University
Nicole Ellison, University of Michigan
Gerry Fluet, Rutgers University
Guo Freeman, Clemson University
Rebecca Hayes, Illinois State University
Libby Hemphill, University of Michigan
Hye-jin Kum-Biocca, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Cliff Lampe, University of Michigan
Bongshin Lee, Microsoft Research
Yu-Hao Lee, University of Florida
Wei Peng, Michigan State University
Katie Quehl, Yahoo
Rabindra (Robby) Ratan, Michigan State University
Tina Yuan, National Taiwan Normal University

Fall 2021
Fall 2020- Spring 2021
Spring 2020
Fall 2019
2019 Spring
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2018 Fall
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2018 Spring
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Fall 2017
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Fall 2017
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Spring 2017
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Fall 2016
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Summer 2016: NJIT students and students from Brazilian Scientific Mobility Program
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Fall 2015
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Fall 2015
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Spring 2015

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