I am a Sociology PhD candidate and a Statistics MS candidate at the University of California, Irvine, affiliated with the Networks, Computation, and Social Dynamics Lab, advised by Professor Carter T. Butts. Before coming to UCI, I received bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Economics from Peking University. I will join the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor of Sociology starting Fall 2024.

My research primarily focuses on social networks and population dynamics, adopting a relational and structural approach to explore social processes and people’s experiences therein. My dissertation examines how network dynamics and geopolitical contexts shape migration patterns. One chapter illuminates the social and political cleavages contributing to the population immobility in the United States, while another critically engages with the phenomenon known as the “California Exodus.” My secondary research trajectory investigates the spatial distribution of social relations. This line of inquiry offers insights into the diffusion of infectious diseases, including COVID-19, and the related health disparity issues.

My methodological work concentrates on developing statistical and computational methods to model network and population structures, dynamically and at a large scale. I study computational methods that model valued/weighted networks, especially for large networks with high edge variance, under the framework of exponential-family random graph models (ERGMs). Alongside my collaborators, I also develop imputation methods and algorithms for cross-tabulation data, which can be applied to infer distributions of multiple demographic characteristics in small areal units.

I received the 2022 Geoffrey Tootell Dissertation-in-progress Award in Mathematical Sociology from the American Sociological Association, and the best paper award from the Seventh U.S.-Japan Joint Conference on Mathematical Sociology and Rational Choice. My peer-reviewed papers have appeared in American Sociological Review, Journal of Mathematical Sociology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Social Networks, and Sociological Methodology.


Email: peng.huang [at] uci.edu
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