• Experiences,  Students

    The Highs and the Lows: The (extra)ordinary journey!

    As I sit down to pen this blog, there’s a flurry of emotions that run through my mind; happiness, sadness, nervousness, excitement, and anxiousness. Last couple of years have been a crucial part of my life starting 2014 when I began my adventurous and bumpy PhD ride. PhD isn’t easy and there will certainly be plenty of obstacles on the way to touching that shiny degree. Disclaimer in bold: I don’t plan to demotivate my reading audience, just putting words to my thoughts as they flow. Take all the bad and good things which you read with a pinch of salt. Trust me, its all worth it in the end(the…

    Comments Off on The Highs and the Lows: The (extra)ordinary journey!
  • Experiences,  StudentGiri,  Students

    Ode to PK (and Precog)

    My name is Dheeraj, and I’ve just completed my third year at IIIT-H. I had the opportunity to work with PK on his sabbatical here at IIIT-H. As I sit down to write this, it seems kind of an injustice to sum up all of my experiences with PK in a few words. I’m not great with putting emotions into words, but I will try my best. I’m also aware that most people write this blog after they’ve completed their journey with PK, but I hope that isn’t the case with me. I hope this blog signifies a beginning, not an end. I’ve absolutely enjoyed my time working with (not…

  • Experiences,  Students

    A Juice Worth The Squeeze

    I am Sayan Chaudhry, and in March 2018, I was distressed. I was a freshman studying Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and I did not know what I was going to do over the summer.  After having spent one year studying away from home, I wanted the perfect balance of being close to my family, working on something I was interested in, and learning a lot in the process. In a moment of revelation I had only seen happen in movies, a thought bubble appeared over my head, “Why don’t I email that one IIIT Delhi professor who had conducted CMU’s pre-departure reception. I think he also went to…

    Comments Off on A Juice Worth The Squeeze
  • Experiences,  Students

    PK: A ‘guru’ to remember!

    At the beginning of my fourth year, I was just a student looking to finish my course credits. Little did I know that I would be picking the most different and interesting course all by pure chance. PK sir had sent an email regarding his privacy and security course and I thought it was intriguing. I applied for the course and to my surprise, the structure was different from every other course I have ever taken. He was always super passionate about his work and that bled into the way he taught as well. PK not only makes content interesting and fun but also forms real connections with students. Multiple…

    Comments Off on PK: A ‘guru’ to remember!
  • Experiences,  Students

    Journey with PK – An odyssey known as #profgiri

    I am writing this blog after working with PK for close to a year in his sabbatical at IIIT Hyderabad. This blog tries to recapitulate all my experiences of this period – be it the fun, the learning, the work or the course Big Data and Policing. It essentially conveys the journey of PK becoming my guide and friend, rather than just being a professor. Initial contact and the first project The first time I heard about PK was in my 4th semester when I was looking for a summer internship. I remember seeing his profile and showing it to my roommate, to which he said, “Look at his citations!…

    Comments Off on Journey with PK – An odyssey known as #profgiri
  • Experiences,  StudentGiri,  Students

    Journey of two years, learnings of a lifetime – My Precog Experience

    I remember first hearing about Precog and PK back in 2015 when I was seeking admission to IIIT Delhi. For a freshman in an institute with most of its faculty being graduates from the most prestigious universities around the world, Precog seemed to be one of its crown jewels: headed by a CMU graduate, doing socially relevant work, having several laurels to its name, its members at top places around the world, and as expected being super competitive to get into. As overwhelming as this seemed to me then, I always wanted to work hard, do projects and build my profile so that I can later try and make an…

    Comments Off on Journey of two years, learnings of a lifetime – My Precog Experience
  • #LokSabhaElections2019,  Elections2019,  Social Media Report Card

    Know Our Ministers: Social Media Report Cards of Our Ministers

    With the Ministers officially sworn in to serve the new government, we made an attempt to analyze their social media presence. In doing so we have come up with the Social Media Report Cards of the Ministers. We took the listing of the Ministers from the government document issued by the President of India. Among the Ministers who were sworn in on the 30th of May, there were 44 Ministers from Lok Sabha, amongst these 44 (Male = 39 Female = 5), 42 had social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram). This blog is dedicated to analyzing the 42 ministers’ (Male = 37 Female = 5) social media presence. The…

    Comments Off on Know Our Ministers: Social Media Report Cards of Our Ministers
  • #LokSabhaElections2019,  Elections2019,  Phase 2,  Social Media,  VotingRound2

    #LokSabhaElections2019 Phase 1 vs Phase 2

    Phase 1 Phase 2 Total number of tweets (original, RTs, quotes) 235,833 280,256 Retweets 181,681 228,588 Quotes 8,697 6,296 Original tweet 45,455 45,372 Hashtags 123 91 Unique users who posted the tweets 99,794 84,659 Top 5 languages used in the post (derived the language from the Twitter JSON) English (140,163) Hindi (66,980) Telugu (2,899) Tamil (1,780) Marathi (1,510) English (134,325) Hindi (69,489) Tamil (40,903) Oriya (3,809) Marathi (2,752) Top 5 devices used to do the posts Twitter for Android (155,805) Twitter for iPhone (31,251) Twitter Web Client (22,930) Twitter Web App (16,871) Twitter for iPad (2,623) Twitter for Android (207,830) Twitter Web Client (24,847) Twitter for iPhone (22,312) Twitter Web…

    Comments Off on #LokSabhaElections2019 Phase 1 vs Phase 2
  • #LokSabhaElections2019,  Elections2019,  Phase1,  Social Computing,  VotingRound1

    Phase 1 #LokSabhaElections2019 Social Media Round-up

    Today the first of the seven phases of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 went underway in India; we had 91 constituencies spread across 20 states that went for polling. 14.21 crore Indians are expected to have casted their vote today. We collected Twitter data using 123 hashtags, and collected over 2 lakh tweets from 0300hrs until 1900hrs (stay tuned, we will make these data public soon). The cumulative distribution graph of the Tweets posted over the duration of the data collection with the top 5 hashtags can be seen below. The same graph, but depicting the Tweets posted with the top 5 mentions can be seen below. Further, we share the…

    Comments Off on Phase 1 #LokSabhaElections2019 Social Media Round-up
  • #LokSabhaElections2019,  Elections2019,  Research,  Social Computing

    NaMo Vs RaGa: On Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn

    As the nation gears up for the first phase of the parliamentary elections tomorrow, it will be interesting to see in detail the emerging candidates vying for the seat of the Prime Minister seat. Taking forward our empirical analysis of Social Media dialogues around elections, we analyze the two primary candidates, Narendra Modi (NaMo) and Rahul Gandhi (RaGa). In this blog, we have a look at their presence on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Before we get into the analysis of their profiles, we quickly visit the recently released manifestos of each of their parties and share a word cloud of the topics addressed in them. To obtain this…

    Comments Off on NaMo Vs RaGa: On Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn
  • #LokSabhaElections2019,  Elections2019,  Research,  Social Computing

    Who-Follows-Whom?, #ChaupalOnTwitter, Political Satire Videos

    Who-Follows-Whom? Earlier in our ongoing blog series on the forthcoming Indian parliamentary elections we had characterized the following network of verified political handles. Today we share the results of analysing the follower/following patterns of these handles amongst each other. To understand the interactions between the political handles (otherwise parties), we populate a table which shows the ratio of total number of followings of one party to another by the total number of handles of that party. Below is the table with all the counts of followings of each party’s members against another party’s handles, e.g. total number of connections from all AAP accounts following BJP accounts is 912. Next, we…

    Comments Off on Who-Follows-Whom?, #ChaupalOnTwitter, Political Satire Videos
  • Elections2019,  Research,  Social Computing

    The #MainBhiChowkidar Campaign: 30% Verified, 36% non-verified Handles added Chowkidar to their Name

    Below is the first occurrence of the #MainBhiChowkidar by @narendramodi The tweet was dated March 15th 0900hrs IST. This hashtag was part of the campaign; we found this hashtag trending in India by 1100hrs. We were interested in studying the different facets of this campaign, in particular, name changes in the user name of the accounts, verified and others. Screen name / handle is restricted to 15 alphanumeric characters (letters A-Z, numbers 0-9) with the exception of underscores and name of the account is restricted to 50 alphanumeric characters, including special characters and emojis. First occurrence of MainBhiChowkidar Of the 1,268 verified handles (we reported 1,252 in our blog post…

    Comments Off on The #MainBhiChowkidar Campaign: 30% Verified, 36% non-verified Handles added Chowkidar to their Name
  • Building Systems,  Social Computing,  Students

    MIME: A Social Network for Meme Enthusiasts. A course project turned into 10,000+ Lines of Code.

    Memes have become a predominant means of expression in the Internet culture, they are not only used as a means of entertainment but as an important tool for advertising, spreading propaganda and even political ideologies. However, the creation of memes is limited to a niche community of content creators who are skilled in photo/video editing software. MIME is a platform which empowers people who lack these skills to become a part of the meme conversation. We built a one-stop solution for all meme needs – a maker space where people can create memes, a personalized meme feed, and a space to connect with other meme enthusiasts. Further, we hypothesize that…

    Comments Off on MIME: A Social Network for Meme Enthusiasts. A course project turned into 10,000+ Lines of Code.
  • Experiences,  IIITH,  Students

    My journey with the Ponguru

    I know it is common for Precog students to write this blog, but although not officially a part of Precog Lab, I feel connected to this family of PK and his students. I met PK during his one year sabbatical at IIIT-H during my final year. The first time I met PK is something I can never forget. I had only seen pictures of him or videos of his TED talks, and so I walked in expecting to see the same senior faculty member and was prepared to give a formal introduction of myself. The man I met, however, was much more vivacious and energetic than I expected. After greeting…

    Comments Off on My journey with the Ponguru
  • Experiences,  Students

    Why PreCog, you ask?

    I am writing this blog after spending more than two life-changing-years at PreCog – I joined in December 2016 as an intern and “graduated” as a Research Associate (RA) earlier this year. In my previous blog, I tried to capture my experience as an intern. As an RA, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to initiate and lead the WhatsApp Misinformation/WhatsFarzi project with some amazing undergrads. Much of the technical details can be found in another blog. It feels extremely satisfying to share that the project I worked on as an intern got published as a full paper at ACM WebScience 2018, and WhatsFarzi got some cool media coverage (ToI article)…

  • Experiences,  Students

    Precog: The Extraordinary Voyage

    I am writing this blog after an exhilarating experience of 3 years spent at Precog. When I started my undergrad four years ago, little could I imagine that I’ll be conducting high impact research, building real-world systems, writing and publishing papers and even presenting them at top conferences across the globe. The freshman version of me just wanted to get a decent paying job! Yet 4 years later, here I am headed to pursue a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Maryland, College Park and Max Planck Institute for Software Systems under the Maryland-Max Planck joint program. A good part of who I am today, professionally and academically,…