It is amazing that nowadays all the large-scale and distributed interactions among people are available online thanks to the advances of online social networking/social media sites.
Such data not only reveals who is talking to whom (i.e., helps us build a regular social network based on "knowing" or simple interaction), but also the time and the content of their online communication, which enable us build other social networks based on the nature of interactions (such as support network, information spread network).
All these made me believe that the availability of such data will bring a brand new perspective to the study of people's social behaviors and interactions.
Q - What was the first data set you remember working with? A - My first research project using a real-world dataset was about collecting and analyzing data about humanitarian agencies and their networks.
We recently caught up with Kang Zhao, Assistant Professor at the Management Sciences department, Tippie College of Business, the University of Iowa. I also hold a Ph D in Information Sciences and Technology from Penn State University.
His work applying Machine Learning to the world of online dating has generated significant coverage (Forbes, MIT Technology Review, UPI, among others), so we wanted to know more! Q - How did you get interested in Data Science / Machine Learning? I was involved in research projects that leveraged data from online social networks and social media.