Hi, welcome to my homepage. My name is Alvin Zhou. You can access my CV here.
I am a computational social scientist focusing on political communication and strategic communication. My work is forthcoming or under review at top communication journals, such as Journal of Communication and Public Relations Review. My other academic and journalistic writing has appeared in Journal of Communication, Information, Communication & Society, and Vista Story.
I am currently pursuing my PhD in Communication (track: digital media and social networks) at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, where I am advised by Dr. Sandra González-Bailón. I am also pursuing a dual Master in Statistics at the Wharton School. I earned my M.A. in Strategic Public Relations from the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California, where I was supervised by Dr. Aimei Yang. I hold dual Bachelor degrees (B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering & B.A. in Journalism) from Tsinghua University.
I use computational tools and advanced statistical methods to study theoretically intriguing questions in political communication and strategic communication. I am collaborating with Dr. Yphtach Lelkes on a study that explores social media affordances and political talks. I am the group coordinator of the DiMeNet research group, where I work for a NSF grant that is developing network measures for digital news consumption. Using big datasets, simulation, and network analysis, I am also advancing theories that were previously established by case studies and surveys in strategic communication, in subfields such as CSR (corporate social responsibility), relationship management, and public relations. This series of work has won two Top Student Paper Awards.
I was a communication practitioner before entering the academia. Between 2014 and 2016, I was a reporter and later on a freelance writer at Vista Story, the best-selling news magazine in China. I have also worked for BlueFocus Communication Group as a public relations consultant, for China Central Television as an investigative reporter, and for Xinhua News Agency as a broadcaster.
I write in LaTeX and Markdown. I love Zotero and Overleaf. I enjoy driving, hiking, road trips, and Costco. I am an Apple fanboy. I love music and go to concerts more often than I should. I have AMC A-List, and rarely miss good (indie) movies in theaters. I travel as much as I can with my r/churning hobby. I see Los Angeles as my hometown.