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Personal profile

Professional Information

Jeff Hemsley is an Assistant Professor at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. He is co-author of the book Going Viral (Polity Press, 2013 and winner of ASIS&T Best Science Books of 2014 Information award and selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2014), which explains what virality is, how it works technologically and socially, and draws out the implications of this process for social change. You can see Jeff talk about researching viral events on YouTube. You can also see his Benefunder Profile.

He is a founding member of the Behavior, Information, Technology and Society Laboratory (BITS lab) here at the Syracuse iSchool.  

Jeff earned his Ph.D. from the University of Washington’s Information School, where he was a founding member of the Social Media Lab at the University of Washington. The lab received RAPID and INSPIRE awards from NSF, an Amazon Web Services in Education research grant award, and a gift from Microsoft Research. His research has appeared in journals like Policy & Internet, American Behavioral Scientist and the Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce.

Currently, Jeff teaches Information Visualization to amazing, dedicated and creative graduate students at the iSchool!

Research Interests

My research is about understanding how people are using social media, how their use influences the flow of information, and how information mediates user’s interaction online. I draw on theories and concepts like information gatekeeping, personal influence, status, presentation of self, social capital and viral events. I use exploratory data analysis (data visualization techniques), inferential statistics, social network analysis and content analysis to answer my questions.


Information Science, Ph.D., University of Washington

Award Date: Aug 10 2014


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