I am a doctoral candidate in the Media, Technology & Society program, at Northwestern University’s School of Communication. My main research interests concern the implications of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for social interaction and civic participation. I examine how people use ICTs to maintain their personal networks and engage in public lives. Specifically, I study how factors such as race, gender, socioeconomic status and digital skills influence these ICT-mediated communication processes. I also focus on how such behavioral patterns may relate to the inequalities of people’s social, psychological, and economic well-being. I primarily employ survey methodology to conduct my research, given that survey can obtain rigorous quantitative data about individuals’ ICT usage experience as well as their understanding and conceptualization of their personal networks. To improve data quality of self reports of personal networks is the focus of my interest in survey methodology.
During my time at Northwestern, I have worked on projects with Prof. Eszter Hargittai looking at theoretical perspectives of digital inequality, methodological recommendations for measuring people’s Web-use skills in different survey length, and the relationship between Web-use skills and the level of engagement on social network sites. I am currently working with Prof. Peter Miller on my dissertation investigating instruments that can effectively obtain personal network information in survey setting.
Prior to my study at Northwestern, I received a MA in sociology from University of Illinois at Chicago and another MA in social informatics from Yuan-Ze University in Taiwan.