Hemant Purohit
Hemant Purohit, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Information Sciences & Technology, George Mason University

Research: Computational Social Science| Text Mining| Semantic Computing| Cooperative Info System| Humanitarian Informatics

Impact: #SocialGood | #OnlineCommunities | #HumanBehavior

Updates on the Semantic Machine Learning Workshop (#SML2016), organized at IJCAI-2016 in New York!

Research Portfolio

Research Interest: study human behavior on the web via an interdisciplinary approach of Computer and Social Sciences. I model individual and group behavior (e.g., intent, comprehension, attitude and engagement) in online communities to design cooperative information systems that mine crowd-generated and opensource data to support organizational decision making. This research is employed into a variety of humanitarian informatics problems for social good, including emergency management, gender-based violence, public health resilience, and STEM efforts assessment.

Technical Interest: merge top-down and bottom-up data mining approaches by employing domain semantics and guidance from offline socio-behavioral knowledge into statistical methods, and understand online individual and group behavior from unstructured, large-scale social and web data.

Check relevant projects of Humanitarian & Social Informatics Lab (HSIL) research group.

One list of Publications:


Quick Summary

Studying real-world problems
related to online human social dynamics (engagement, intent, belief, cooperation) in social network communities by leveraging models using behavioral knowledge from psychology (Social Identity, Social Cohesion, etc.). I have worked on Intent Mining, Bipartite Matching, Expert Detection, Community Evolution, and User Engagement analysis in large-scale unstructured data from social media. My research has key applications in improving humanitarian crisis coordination and the understanding of online user behavior.

Extensive collaboration
at the local to global level with interdisciplinary experts including Prof. Amit Sheth (Semantic Web), Prof. Valerie Shalin (Cognitive Science), Prof. John Flach (Cognitive Systems), & Prof. T.K. Prasad (Algorithm Design) at WSU, Prof. Srinivasan Parthasarthy at OSU (Networks and Data Mining), Dr. Meenakshi Nagarajan at IBM Research (Social Computing), Dr. Patrick Meier (Humanitarian Coordination) & Dr. Carlos Castillo (Crisis Computing) at QCRI, and Dr. Fernando Diaz at Microsoft Research (Matching models).

Selected Talks

Awards and Honors

Professional & Volunteering Services

Professional Community Services:

Volunteer Community Services:

  • - Coordination, Mapping and Analysis
    • J&K (India) Floods response via JKFloodRelief.org (now InCrisisRelief.org) . Among key team coordinators of V.O.I.C.E. to facilitate the largest international, citizen-led response drive with scalable impact for relief, involving 25+ orgs. In this unprecedented tech-assisted initiative, I also helped in data coordination for social media mining via our Twitris technology. (Teamwork cited by: Hindustan Times, OneIndia, Zee News, NPR, LightHouse Insights, etc.), Sept 2014
    • Phailin cyclone crisis-map, India . Initiative in collaboration with Google Crisis Response team and digital volunteers globally from different organizations (SBTF, OpenCrisis, Info4Disasters, HumanityRoad, etc.) and universities. (Teamwork cited by: Times Of India, DNA, Business Standard, EfyTimes, Kochi Reporter, Gadget Garrio, GeoSpatial World, Global Resilience Systems), Oct 2013
    • Uttarakhand floods crisis-map, India . Crisis-mapping initiative in collaboration with Google Crisis Response team, volunteers from universities around the world and from prestigious organizations (SBTF, Info4, OpenCrisis, HOT, CrisisMappersUK), including a surge support from Humanity Road contributed in this (Teamwork cited by The Hindu articles 1, 2), Jun 2013

  • - Technical volunteering for Social Data Mining
    • Oklahoma tornado, US. Extensive analysis of donation requests and offers to help (iRevolutions blog, also in Infographic), May 2013
    • Balochistan earthquake analysis with UN OCHA to identify key influencers on social media for needs such as medical aid, Sept 2013
    • Yolanda (Philippines) Typhoon response via Twitris technologies for assisting crowdsourcing app MicroMappers by my mentor Patrick Meier's social-innovation team at QCRI and SBTF, for UN OCHA. (iRevolutions blog: results & launch, Wall Street Journal), Nov 2013
    • Others: Hurricane Sandy, US, 2012; East cost snow storm, US, 2013; Khartoum floods, Sudan, 2013; Colorado floods, US, 2013

Contact Me

I enjoy working with passionate collaborators and students as well as always welcome synergistic projects.
For students: Do you like challenging real world data problems for social development? If interested in Ph.D. and MS/BS-thesis, you can connect via mail at h p u r o h i t _a_t_ g m u _d_o_t_ e d u .