I am a first-year Ph.D. student studying Information Science
at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under Dr.
My current interests span Computer Science and Machine
Learning for Social Good. More specifically, I am the creator of
(a news literacy game) and am currently focusing on
adversarial learning in social networks as well as uncovering
social media misinformation patterns. In the past,
I have worked on
(a misinformation visualization tool), link prediction on
knowledge networks, graph counting, and some Web Development,
Full Stack Development, and IT consulting work.
What am I up to nowadays?
1) Working on the creation of a democratized knowledge stream
using citizen-science and React, Node.js, MongoDB.
2) Developing and expanding a Python framework that allows for
the experimenting with adversarial perturbations on social networks
using the NetworkX library.
3) Further supporting and maintaining Fakey, as well as
mining for patterns in how people interact with
information/misinformation/disinformation on social media
4) Creating a
with WordPress, PHP, and Docker to support
which is a nonprofit providing a space for young government
leaders in Chicago to make a difference.
5) Looking for Web Development, Full Stack development,
and/or Machine Learning jobs.
6) Taking various Social Computing courses and improving my
Web Development and Full Stack Development skills
HarpLDA+: Optimizing Latent Dirichlet Allocation for
Bo Peng, Bingjing Zhang, Langshi Chen, Mihai Avram, Robert
Henschel, Craig Stewart, Shaojuan Zhu,
Emily Mccallum, Lisa Smith, Tom Zahniser, Jon Omer, Judy Qiu
Conference - IEEE Big Data 2017
(Download as PDF)
Finding and counting tree-like subgraphs using MapReduce
Zhao Zhao, Langshi Chen, Mihai Avram, Meng Li, Guanying Wang,
Ali Butt, Maleq Khan, Madhav Marathe, Judy Qiu, Anil Vullikanti
Journal - IEEE Transactions on Multi-Scale Computing Systems 2017
(Download as PDF)
RelSifter: Scoring Triples from Type-like Relations
Prashant Shiralkar, Mihai Avram, Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia,
Filippo Menczer, Alessandro Flammini
Conference - WSDM Cup 2017
(Download as PDF)
A Fast Algorithm to the Radiative Transport Equation and
Implementation of Theory Into an Applet
Mihai Avram, Manabu Machida
Report - 2013
(Download as PDF)
Civilian Deaths and the Iraq War
Mihai Avram, Sorin Matei
Journal - Journal of Purdue Undergraduate Research 2013
(Download as PDF)
Created a Python framework to enable adversarial perturbations on
Social Networks using any desired graphs, node positions, budgets,
functions, and evaluation metrics. Presented the project at a
local Information Science School Conference at Universiy of Illinois.
Applied for the
AI and the News Open Challenge
an extension proposition to Fakey and got to the second round
of applications. We will hear back whether or not we
got the grant in April of 2019.
Although this has been on my mind for some time, at this point in time
I believe the notion cannot be more overt. This is the notion that
I am mostly driven by real-world impact. More specifically,
I get a lot of satisfaction from making things.
The euphoria of a completed product that makes the world a better place
cannot be matched by any other joyful event. Hence, I have decided
to transition out of academia and become a freelancer and social entrepreneur.
I plan to innovate and collaborate with people that want to make
the world a better place by creating systems and tools using
Full Stack Development and Machine Learning that can alleviate problems
like corruption, lack of transparency, global warming, lack of education,
Visited my beautiful homeland
Started rotating with the new
I will be part of at UIUC where I will start my Ph.D. in the
coming fall. Working on publishing two papers on Adversarial
Learning in Social Networks as well as Patterns of Social
Interaction in Social Media feeds with respect to Misinformation
and Percieved Engagement.
The practice of minimizing the nonessential and focusing time
on the essential at a macro and micro level (hence I minimized
social media use and quit using Snapchat for once!). Social
impact is my harmonious passion. I often think about the best
ways to achieve the highest social impact in the world as possible.
Not because I want money, glory, or fame, but because I think
it our responsability to give back and leave the world a little
better off when we die. This is related to the concept of
Hence, I am constantly thinking about the optimal way to do this
whether it is through academia, entrepreneurship, both, or some
other way and I hope to figure it out soon!
Completed my Master's thesis titled
"Hoaxy and Fakey: Tools to Analyze and Mitigate the Spread of
Misinformation in Social Media" and launched
Also assisted in the launch of a new version of
Learned to use Apache Cordova in being able to port website
code into iOS/Android applications seemlessly and having the end
result feel very native to the platform environment. Creating
tools for the social good takes a lot of hard work, dedication,
and sacrifice - especially without a large support group in
assistance. As demanding as research/academia/entrepreneurship
may be, social connections and friendships should never be
neglected as that can impact one's mental state in the present
and future in a negative way.
Learned about Natural Language Processing
and lauched an alpha version of
, a media literacy game.
Learned the Vue front-end framework, and read up on many Social
Computing papers to understand the diverse research done in this
Hopefully this literature review will better allow me to pick
certain sub-areas of research in order to have the most impact
and fun in the future. I also learned to find a good work/life
balance for myself in the academic environment.
Worked for professors Judy Qiu and Ying Ding and published
two papers as well as one Machine Learning MOOC.
Focus on the essential and do your best, as trying to do e
verything is the recipe for failure. Honed Machine Learning, Graph Algorithms, Linux, and
High-Performance Computing skills.
Completed a Cloud Computing course and Data Mining Course
as well as started formally working with professor Filippo
Menczer who turned out to be my Master's research advisor.
Research is hard work, but I prefer doing research to
taking classes because it gives me creativity, a sense of
purpose, and flexibility.
Started my Master's in Computer Science
and completed the following courses: Algorithms Design and
Analysis, Advanced Operating Systems, and Machine Learning.
Also started working with Dr. Filippo Menczer on Fact Checking,
later publishing a paper in WSDM Cup 2017.
Graduate school is hard work, but surrounding oneself with
what one values most can make the time more pleasant. For me
this was doing research and outdoor activities such as running,
climbing, tennis, basketball, etc...
Worked as a Consultant, later being promoted to Senior
Consultant at Avanade, a technology company. I learned a lot
about dev-ops, the application development lifecycle, team leadership,
Web Development, and Big Data here.
Working in industry is good money, but if one wants to make
a difference in the world then a career in research, nonprofit,
or entrepreneurship would be a better fit. This is when I
chose to pursue a research-oriented Master's degree in Computer
Graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science
in Mathematics. I also gleaned some neat skills in Computer
Science, by attending an REU at University of Michigan and
working with professor Sorin Matei on a publication about
the Iraq War.
The meaning of giving back through Purdue's EPICS program.
NOT to procrastinate. Critical thinking is the key to a
bachelor's degree, everything else can be forgotten.