Björn Ross

Björn Ross

Lecturer in Computational Social Science (he/him)

University of Edinburgh

I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Computational Social Science at the University of Edinburgh School of Informatics, in the Institute for Language, Cognition and Computation. In my research, I primarily use computational methods from agent-based modelling, natural language processing and social network analysis to study social media and related technologies. A key focus of my research is to explore different aspects of social media, such as misinformation, hate speech, and the malicious use of automation (bots), as well as how social media can be used effectively for social good, such as in crisis communication. I also examine issues with these methods, from data collection practices to research data management.

At Edinburgh, I am a co-director of the SMASH group and part of the management team of the CDT in NLP. Before working here, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Duisburg-Essen, where I also completed my PhD. I am a member of AIS, ACL and ACM and an Associate Editor of Business & Information Systems Engineering.

Interests
  • Computational social science
  • Social computing
  • Information systems
  • Social media analytics and communication
  • Social network analysis, agent-based modelling and simulation, natural language processing and text classification for social media
Education
  • PhD, 2019

    University of Duisburg-Essen

  • MSc in Computer Science, 2016

    University of Münster

  • Exchange year, 2014-5

    University of Strasbourg

  • BSc in Information Systems, 2013

    University of Münster

Supervision

PhD

Current PhD students

Agostina Calabrese is working on explainable models to detect abusive language online, while Eddie Ungless researches social biases in text analysis services. Sandrine Chausson examines the development of the environmental discourse using natural language processing and Seraphina Goldfarb-Tarrant (first supervisor: Adam Lopez) is working on fairness and bias in multilingual NLP. We are all part of the SMASH group, which I co-direct.

Prospective PhD students

I am looking for more talented and motivated PhD students to join our group. If you are interested in pursuing a PhD and working with us, please familiarise yourself with my research and send me an email with your research interests and CV. If I think that it could be a good fit, we can then talk over Teams where I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Please also have a look at the relevant information on the web pages of the School, Institute and NLP CDT, where you can learn about the application process and funding options.

MSc and UG students

I am open to supervising self-proposed dissertation projects. If you are currently an Edinburgh student on one of our programmes and you would like to self-propose a project, please get in touch with me a few weeks before the deadline.

Teaching

In the academic year 2021-22, I am teaching Text Technologies for Data Science (with Walid Magdy) at the University of Edinburgh School of Informatics. All course materials and recordings of live lectures can be found on the web page.

Contact

  • b.ross@ed.ac.uk
  • Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9AB