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Serina Chang

I am currently a 3rd year PhD student in Computer Science (CS) at Stanford University, advised by Prof. Jure Leskovec and Prof. Johan Ugander. Previously, I completed my undergrad at Columbia University, where I majored in CS and concentrated in Sociology, and was advised by Prof. Kathy McKeown. My research is supported by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

I'm interested in developing computational methods to model complex, interconnected systems in social and population health domains. Recent work includes modeling the dynamics of COVID-19 transmission, predicting human mobility patterns, and analyzing the societal impacts of recommendation systems.

Key areas: networks, data science, machine learning, computational social science
[CV] [Email] [Google Scholar] [Twitter]


* indicates co-first authorship.

Supporting COVID-19 policy response with large-scale mobility-based modeling
Serina Chang, Mandy L. Wilson, Bryan Lewis, Zakaria Mehrab, Komal K. Dudakiya, Emma Pierson, Pang Wei Koh, Jaline Gerardin, Beth Redbird, David Grusky, Madhav Marathe, and Jure Leskovec.
KDD 2021, Applied Data Science Track - Best Paper Award.
[paper] [code] [blog post]

To recommend or not? A model-based comparison of item-matching processes
Serina Chang and Johan Ugander.
Under review. 2021.
Also presented at IC2S2 2021 (oral).

How much do superspreaders matter? Epidemic dynamics in inhomogeneous populations
Kyle Kawagoe*, Mark Rychnovsky*, Serina Chang, Greg Huber, Lucy M. Li, Jonathan Miller, Reuven Pnini, Boris Veytsman, and David Yllanes.
medRxiv 2021.

Mobility network models of COVID-19 explain inequities and inform reopening
Serina Chang*, Emma Pierson*, Pang Wei Koh*, Jaline Gerardin, Beth Redbird, David Grusky, and Jure Leskovec.
Nature 2020.
Commentary in Nature News and Views by Kevin Ma and Dr. Marc Lipsitch.
Interactive article in The New York Times by Yaryna Serkez.
Selected media coverage: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, CNN, Wired, MIT Technology Review, and Stanford Press (article and video).
Also presented at Networks 2021 (oral), NeurIPS 2020 ML for Health Workshop, and as an invited talk at NeurIPS COVID-19 Symposium.
[paper] [code] [talk] [website]

Automatically inferring gender associations from language
Serina Chang and Kathleen McKeown.
EMNLP 2019 (short paper and oral presentation).
[paper] [code] [talk]

Detecting gang-involved escalation on social media using context
Serina Chang, Ruiqi Zhong, Ethan Adams, Fei-Tzin Lee, Siddharth Varia, Chris Kedzie, Desmond Patton, William Frey, and Kathleen McKeown.
EMNLP 2018 (long paper and oral presentation).
[paper] [code] [talk]

Crowd-sourced iterative annotation for narrative summarization corpora
Jessica Ouyang, Serina Chang, and Kathleen McKeown.
EACL 2017 (short paper and oral presentation).
[paper] [video]

Industry Experience

Google, Software Engineering Intern (Summer 2018)

Built a user-facing feature for Google Search and Assistant. Designed new logic to recognize and parse natural language queries related to the feature, implemented backend in Search architecture, and worked with UX designer and Product Manager to create frontend for the feature.

Google, Engineering Practicum Intern (Summer 2017)

Modified Google Search architecture to add new tracking metrics and used these metrics to improve the primary monitoring console for Google Now. Also completed two stretch projects that improved the functionality of company-wide monitoring tools.

Leadership & Innovation

Lean In at Columbia
Co-President (2017-2018); Senior Advisor (2018-2019)

As Co-President, I revamped our program to focus on our members' professional and personal growth in the context of intersectional experiences, such as being LGBTQ or interdisciplinary. With my Co-President Kara Schechtman and our Board, we quintupled the size of our membership and founded a mentorship program, which matched over 70 students to NYC professionals in its first year. We also founded the Lean In @ CU Conference, a day-long event celebrating mentorship and different paths of feminism.

Columbia Womxn in CS (WiCS)
Academic Chair (2017-2019)

I founded WiCS Lightning Talks, a new speaker series at Columbia featuring student researchers with a focus on supporting traditionally underrepresented groups in CS. The series empowers student researchers by giving them the opportunity to present their work, and, in turn, inspires their peers to dive into research. As Academic Chair, I also organized panels with CS faculty at Columbia, and participated as a mentor in WiCS' Coffee Chats program.

Intercollegiate Chamber Music Festival (ICMF)
Co-Founder; Producer (2017-2019)

I co-founded this initiative while serving as Co-President of Columbia Classical Performers. Along with my Co-President Cindy Liu and Vice President Dean Deng, we founded ICMF in collaboration with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. The festival celebrates collegiate chamber ensembles, providing them opportunities to perform at Lincoln Center and to particpate in master classes with world-renowned artists.

Classical Music

Here are some of my favorite performances! Check out my YouTube channel for more.

C. Saint-Saëns, Piano Trio No.2 in E Minor, Op.92

Jason Shu (violin), Elena Ariza (cello), and Serina Chang (piano). Coached by Muneko Otani. 

N. Kapustin, Variations, Op.41

Serina Chang (piano). Student of Elena Belli.

L. Bernstein, arranged by J. Musto, Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

Alison Chang (piano) and Serina Chang (piano). Coached by Yegor Shevtsov. 

© Serina Chang 2021