Hi, I'm Naitian.

That's pronounced naɪtjen like 🌙 💴.

I'm a PhD student at the UC Berkeley School of Information, where I'm advised by David Bamman.

I'm interested in some mixture of computational social science, natural language processing and digital humanities. I also care a lot about the news, data journalism, data visualization and crossword puzzles.

I'm a recent alum of the University of Michigan (go blue!), where I studied computer science, data science and linguistics. There, I worked with David Jurgens in the UM School of Information. In the past, I've worked on social computing with Tanu Mitra in the UW Information School and on social dialogue agents with Jon May at USC ISI.

A collection of photos of my face.

"One picture is hard to identify a person with" ~ David Fouhey



Condolences and empathy in online communities

Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)
In times of distress, we frequently go online to seek social support and condolence. But effectively providing that support to others is easier said than done. This study aims to computationally identify mechanisms and strategies for delivering effective and impactful condolence on social media.
[Website] [PDF]


I am writing or have written code for: The Michigan Daily as the managing online editor, NBC News as a Data Graphics intern, the Michigan Data Science Team as a project leader, Capital One as a software engineering intern (x2 summers) and, of course, myself as naitian.

Here is a sampler of my work.

The Spalling Bie
The Spalling Bie is just like the New York Times Spelling Bee, except you only get points for fake words that sound plausible. [Link]
Where are the vaccine deserts?
I did research, data collection, analysis and graphics for an NBC News story tracking where Americans could expect to find pharmacies that would carry the Covid-19 vaccine. [Link]
Cover Story
As part of a challenge, I used a database of book titles from Amazon and a part-of-speech tagger to construct grammatically correct sentences using only book titles. Earned an honorable mention from Randall Munroe, creator of XKCD. [Link]
If you start playing...
A different kind of New Year's countdown, IYSP takes inspiration from the internet memes about "starting the year off right." [Link]