I am a Sociology PhD candidate and a Statistics MS student at 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.
Broadly interested in social relations and population dynamics, I take a relational and structural approach to studying social processes and people’s experience therein. My dissertation examines how network dynamics and geopolitical conditions shape internal and international migration, such as the social and political cleavages behind immobility of Americans. My second line of research studies the spatial distribution of social relations, and its application in understanding the diffusion of infectious diseases such as COVID-19, and the related health disparity issues.
My methodological work mainly focuses on developing statistical and computational methods to model network relations and population structures (in dynamic and on a large scale). I study computational methods for modelling valued/weighted networks, especially for large networks with high edge variance, under the framework of exponential-family random graph models (ERGMs). In another project, we employ loglinear models and simulated annealing for imputation of three-way array 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. One of my dissertation chapters won the best paper award from the Seventh U.S.-Japan Joint Conference on Mathematical Sociology and Rational Choice. My other peer-reviewed articles have appeared on Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).