Graduate Students

A huge thanks to our Grad Students, we couldn’t do it without you!

Jingyi Gu is a Ph.D. student in the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Situated at the intersection of media studies, science and technology studies, and feminist and queer studies, her main research interests include gender and sexuality, identity and community, governance and resistance in social media platforms and digital culture. As a critical digital studies scholar, Jingyi is also interested in politics of algorithms and data on a global scale. She is currently working on her doctoral dissertation exploring the formation of gender and sexual dynamics in Chinese live streaming through the lenses of mediated intimacy and digital labor. 

Vinay Koshy is a second year PhD student in computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is advised by Professor Karrie Karahalios as part of the Social Spaces group. Prior to coming here, Vinay completed his BA at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in computer science. Vinay studies human-computer interaction (HCI), though his interests within this area are varied. Recently, he has been working on designing privacy-aware smart home systems for secondary and incidental users. He is also examining the effects of simultaneous political and social media consumption on opinion formation. In the past, he has also interned as a software engineer at Salesforce.

Gabriel Malo is a PhD Candidate in the Institute of Communications Research in the College of Media, with an MSLIS from the School of Information Sciences, both at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on alt-right disinformation networks, cultures, and identities.

Jorge Rojas Alvarez is a doctoral student in the Ph. D. program at the Institute of Communications Research in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My background is Computer Science, History of Technology, and Science, Technology and Society studies. I investigate the imaginaries of information and communication technologies for development, the collective memory of communities and the use of data to elevate their needs as civic researchers. I use experimental prototypes to promote reflection on technological controversies and facilitate community members to imagine and design diverse technological futures.

Interdisciplinary scholar and classical musician Adrian Wong focuses on hacking and data gathering as forms of resource extraction, researching what the directionalities of flow of contested information reveal about geopolitical power dynamics. A Fiddler Innovation Student Research Fellow with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, he will be starting his PhD at the Institute of Communications Research this Fall. Adrian draws on semiotics, discourse analysis and ethnography to explore how transnational agents undermine and reconfigure cultural and legal understandings of intellectual property and the control of information as a resource. Intimately engaged in the practice of classical music, Adrian performed around Los Angeles with Midori Goto’s community outreach quartet while studying at the University of Southern California as a Presidential Scholar, and has collaborated with orchestras across the United States, Spain and France. Adrian learned meditation from his father–who had been a Buddhist monk for ten years — and weaves elements of mindfulness and concentration practice into his life and work. In his free time, he daydreams about hiking high mountain passes, and offers lessons in math and Kundalini Yoga.