Computer science's Caverlee receives AFOSR award

Photo of Dr. James Caverlee

Dr. James Caverlee, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University, is one of 48 scientists and engineers who will receive approximately $18 million in grants from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research through its Young Investigator Research Program (YIP).

Caverlee was selected for his research in detecting, analyzing, modeling, and predicting strategic manipulation and adversarial propaganda in social media.

Caverlee and his research group will lead an integrated computational/socio-behavioral science effort to fundamentally advance both theories and systems for modeling mass persuasion in social media. The project will develop new algorithms for efficiently detecting evidence of existing persuasion campaigns in large-scale social media, build new models of social media-driven persuasion by drawing on recent advances in complexity science, and will analyze the spatial-temporal constraints of mass persuasion to identify new insights into the scope of persuasion and the factors impacting widespread adoption.

In August 2007, after receiving his Ph.D. in computer science form the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Caverlee joined the computer science and engineering faculty at Texas A&M. Among the awards he has received in his short time here are the 2010 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Young Faculty Award (DARPA YFA), two Google Research Awards in 2008 and 2010, the Graduate Faculty Teaching Excellence Award in 2009 and 2010, and Center for Teaching Excellence Montague-CTE Scholar in 2011.

The objective of the AFOSR-YIP program is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increase opportunities for the young investigators to recognize the Air Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering. Major research areas include aerospace, chemical and material sciences; physics and electronics; and mathematics, information and life sciences. The recipients selected will receive the grants over a three-to-five year period.