Hemant Purohit
Hemant Purohit, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Information Sciences & Technology Department, George Mason University
Director, Humanitarian Informatics Lab (Human_Info_Lab)

Research: Social & Web Mining | Semantic Computing | Human-AI Collaboration & Applied ML
Applications: #Disaster_Resilience | #Smart_Cities | #Cyber_Security

Congrats to Dr. Rahul Pandey for successful PhD defense and all the best wishes for the next career phase at Amazon!
Congratulations to Asmaa for succesful MS defense!
Congratulations to Yasas and Rahul for getting their book chapter on the human-centered AI system, Citizen-Helper accepted!


Research Interest: Investigate individual and collective behavior dynamics in online spaces to design intelligent/AI systems with safeguards for real-time data analytics and information management at public sector and nonprofit workplaces that augment analytical abilities while ensuring human control of algorithmic behavior. I create human-centered computing methods that facilitate effective human-AI collaboration to observe, model, and analyze behavior in online social networks at scale, using new semantic computing, NLP, and ML techniques guided by socio-psychological theories. This research is employed in the design of information systems for social good applications and future smart city services for a variety of domains, including natural crises (e.g. hurricanes), societal crises (e.g. hate, gender violence), and human crises (e.g. terrorism, cyber attacks).

Technical Interest: Fuse top-down and bottom-up data mining approaches to develop explainable computational models with domain knowledge and cognitive/social theories, which helps in both predicting and explaining implicit behavior in unstructured social, web, and IoT data streams at scale.

Relevant projects: Check Humanitarian Informatics Lab (Human_Info_Lab) research group page.

Grants and Acknowledgement: We are grateful to the following agencies for supporting our research and its integration into education: U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI), Virginia; Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), U.S. Office of Navel Research (ONR), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), 4VA Program and CAHMP Center at Mason, as well as Western Norway Research Institute with Research Council of Norway (RCN):

  • SOCYTI: Violence-inducing Behaviour Prevention in Social-Cyber Space of Local Communities, Sponsor: RCN, Period: 2022-26
  • EAGER: DCL: SaTC: EIC: Inclusive-ScamBuster: Inclusive Scam Detection Methods for Social Media to Design Assistive Tools for Protecting Individuals with Developmental Disabilities, Sponsor: NSF, Period: 2022-24
  • Holistic Human Identity Mapping, Sponsor: ORISE, Period: 2021-23
  • Characterizing Biases in Automated Scam Detection Tools for Social Media to Aid Individuals with Developmental Disabilities, Sponsor: CCI, Period: 2022
  • Designing Tools for Proactive Counter-disinformation Communication to Empower Local Government Agencies, Sponsor: CCI, Period: 2021-22
  • Assessing Tobacco Prevention Policies Using a Hybrid Approach of Nontraditional Social Media and Traditional Simulation Modeling, Sponsor: 4VA Mason, Period: 2021-22
  • ScamBuster: Detecting Emergent Scam Networks on Social Media during Disasters, Sponsor: CAHMP Mason, Period: 2021-22
  • SCC-CIVIC-PG Track B: Assessing the Feasibility of Systematizing Human-AI Teaming to Improve Community Resilience, Sponsor: NSF, Period: 2021
  • INTPART: Transnational Partnership for Excellent Research & Education in Disruptive Technologies for a Resilient Future, Sponsor: RCN, Period: 2020-23
  • CMMI: RAPID: Collaborative Research: Human-AI Teaming for Big Data Analytics to Enhance Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Sponsor: NSF, Period: 2020-21
  • Research Team Commerical First Innovation TM a.k.a. Smart Community IoT Innovation (SCITI Labs), Sponsor: Center for Innovative Technology and DHS, Period: 2020
  • IIS: III: Summarizing Heterogeneous Crowdsourced & Web Streams Using Uncertain Concept Graphs, Sponsor: NSF, Period: 2018-21
  • CRII:CHS: Mining Intentions on Social Media to Enhance Situational Awareness of Crisis Response Organizations, Sponsor: NSF, Period: 2017-20
  • EAGER: Social Media Participation as Indicator of Actors, Awareness, Attitudes, and Activities Related to STEM Education, Sponsor: NSF, Period: 2017-20
  • INTPART: Transnational Partnership for Excellent Research & Education in Big Data and Emergency Management, Sponsor: RCN, Period: 2017-20
  • Believable Fake Scientific Document Generation by Exploring Data Semantics, Sponsor: ONR, Period: 2016-20

Selected Publications: (full list: Google Scholar Profile)


Quick Summary:

Selected Talks


I teach on the topics related to semantic computing and data analytics that include hands-on projects using real-world datasets. I have developed and taught the following courses at Mason, serving the programs of MS in Applied Information Technology, MS in Data Analytics Engineering, and Ph.D. in Information Technology:
  • AIT 582. Metadata Analytics for Big Data
  • AIT 664. Information: Representation, Processing and Visualization
  • AIT 724. Data Analytics in Social Media
  • AIT 734. Advanced Web Analytics Using Semantics

Professional & Volunteering Services

  • - Organizing:
  • - Reviewing:
    • Funding agency: Panel reviewer for U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)
    • Editorial board: Elsevier Int'l Journal of Information Processing & Management
    • Selected Conferences: AAAI ICWSM (Senior PC), ACM WWW, IEEE/ACM Web Intelligence, IEEE/ACM ASONAM, ISCRAM, SBP-BRiMS
    • Selected Journals: ACM TSC, TWeb, TOIT; IEEE Intelligent Systems, TCSS, TKDE; Springer SNAM, IS-Frontiers, TKDD; Elsevier IPM, IJDRR
  • - Mentoring:
  • Others: Volunteering for Disaster Response and Relief
    • COVID-19 pandemic response with Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) in the Washington DC region
    • - Coordination, Mapping and Analysis
      • J&K (India) Floods response via JKFloodRelief.org (now InCrisisRelief.org) . Among key team coordinators of V.O.I.C.E. to facilitate the largest international, citizen-led response drive with scalable impact for relief, involving 25+ orgs. In this unprecedented tech-assisted initiative, I also helped in data coordination for social media mining via our Twitris technology. (Teamwork cited by: Hindustan Times, OneIndia, Zee News, NPR, LightHouse Insights, etc.), Sept 2014
      • Phailin cyclone crisis-map, India . Initiative in collaboration with Google Crisis Response team and digital volunteers globally from different organizations (SBTF, OpenCrisis, Info4Disasters, HumanityRoad, etc.) and universities. (Teamwork cited by: Times Of India, DNA, Business Standard, Gadget Garrio, GeoSpatial World, Global Resilience Systems), Oct 2013
      • Uttarakhand floods crisis-map, India . Crisis-mapping initiative in collaboration with Google Crisis Response team, volunteers from universities around the world and from prestigious organizations (SBTF, Info4, OpenCrisis, HOT, CrisisMappersUK), including a surge support from Humanity Road contributed in this (Teamwork cited by The Hindu articles 1, 2), Jun 2013

    • - Technical volunteering for Disaster Data Mining
      • Oklahoma tornado, US. Extensive analysis of donation requests and offers to help (iRevolutions blog, also in Infographic), May 2013
      • Balochistan earthquake analysis with UN OCHA to identify key influencers on social media for needs such as medical aid, Sept 2013
      • Yolanda (Philippines) Typhoon response via Twitris technologies for assisting crowdsourcing app MicroMappers by my mentor Patrick Meier's former social-innovation team at QCRI and SBTF, for UN OCHA. (iRevolutions blog: results & launch, Wall Street Journal), Nov 2013
      • Others: Hurricane Sandy, US, 2012; East cost snow storm, US, 2013; Khartoum floods, Sudan, 2013; Colorado floods, US, 2013


Contact Me

For current students, check our Human_Info_Lab group page.

Prospective students: Do you like the challenge of addressing real world problems of data analytics for social good and welfare by mining human behavior? If interested in pursuing PhD or MS Thesis, then you can mail to h p u r o h i t _a_t_ g m u _d_o_t_ e d u with your resume, and any prior papers.

Prospective collaborators: I also enjoy working with passionate researchers as well as always welcome synergistic projects, so please do connect via email.