About Me                                       

I want to better understand why and how we connect online, especially through the lens of online communities and social media. Specifically, I am interested in using social media tools in novel ways to help us understand new and interesting things about ourselves, our social networks, our communities, and our neighborhoods. My research design approach is anchored in the quantitative end of things, but I also employ some qualitative approaches too.

My educational background is in electrical engineering (EE) and liberal arts. I've worked in industry for over a dozen years - mostly in high speed digital communication system design and marketing. It's nice to go back to a place where intellectual analysis and the pursuit of new knowledge go hand in hand so well. 

My foray into academia started as a teaching assistant and then adjunct faculty in several academic institutions before I enrolled in this PhD program. I love teaching and academic research.

My hobbies include music performance, cooking, international travel, and staying sane in the face of raising two little human beings.


Candidate for the PhD, Rutgers University, 2016 (anticipated)
MSEE, University of Southern California, 1996
BSEE, University of Southern California, 1994
BA, Liberal Arts, St. Mary's College of California, 1994

Major Research Interests

* Human Information Behavior around Social Media
* Social Networks
* Socio-Computing
* Information System Design
* People as Sources of Data

Ziad Matni              

Information Science Researcher
Academic Instructor
PhD Candidate

School of Communication & Information
Rutgers University
4 Huntington Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

My Work
I am currently a doctoral candidate in the Library & Information Sciences department at the School of Communication and Information (SC&I) at Rutgers University. My current research interests are in the use of information and communication technologies (ICT), including social media tools, as information sources (to tell us about both individuals and organizations) and understanding human behavior around that. Current and past projects include work on:
  • Building communities for transforming social media research using an information extraction and analysis system, dubbed "SOCRATES", with Professor Chirag Shah as part of the InfoSeeking Lab at SC&I, 
  • Studying the social network characteristics of organizations as they recover from disasters with Professors Marya Doerfel and Matthew Weber as part of the Network Science Lab at SC&I, and 
  • "CityBeat" with Professor Mor Naaman, that looks to learn about geographic communities using social media sources in real-time.
I also teach courses at SC&I in the Information Technology and Informatics undergraduate program, and in the Master of Information program. I've also taught undergraduate electrical engineering courses at Rutgers and The College of New Jersey (TCNJ).

I have an active involvement in doctoral student life, including:
* SC&I doctoral student association's (DSA) treasurer & webmaster (2012 - '15)
* Rutgers ASIST chapter (RUASIST) treasurer (2013 - '14)
* New Jersey ASIST chapter (NJASIST) treasurer (2014 - present)
* Playing a mean acoustic set on the occasional open mic nite

Website last updated: 1/12/16