October 04, 2021 | News | Welcome to the MPIDR
Amber Chin is Guest Researcher at the Laboratory of Digital and Computational Demography
Amber Chin is a Fulbright research grantee at the Laboratory of Digital and Computational Demography. She is researching how to map the physical spread of users in digital networks, like Twitter or Facebook. To stay in contact with friends in different cities she likes to play Dungeons and Dragons.
On which project are you going to work, while staying with us until July 2022?
My project is formally called “Geospatial Representations of Social Media: How Political Ties Influence User Networks”, this means that I am going to look at ways we can map the physical spread of users in digital media networks, like Twitter or Facebook. I’m especially interested in how a person’s political affiliations impact the people they choose to follow and form networks with online. I want to understand how these affiliations impact not only what information we are consuming, but also where that information is geographically coming from.
What are you particularly looking forward to as you start working at MPIDR as a guest researcher?
I’m excited to meet new people at the institute and learn about the research methods used in the Digital and Computational Demography lab. After working from home for a while, it’s nice to be (somewhat) back in the office!
You are a Fulbright research grantee, what exactly does that mean for your stay in Rostock?
Fulbright is an academic exchange program that gives funding to students from the U.S. so they can conduct research abroad. When you apply, you develop a project that is geared toward a specific region or country with the goal being that you will travel to and be immersed in the community where your research is centered. For me, this means I get to experience the German Federal election and campaign events in-person while simultaneously working on a project that looks at how people are experiencing the election online. On a broader scale, the Fulbright program is centered on the idea of mutual understanding – how can we teach and learn from each other? How can we form meaningful relationships? I’m hoping to live up to these ideas during my time in Rostock.
What are you obsessed with at the moment besides demography?
Probably Dungeons and Dragons! It’s fun to build characters, and it’s a good way to stay in contact with friends who live in different cities. It’s such a well-developed game, too, and you can really be as creative and flexible as you want with it.
More Info about the Fulbright Program
There is also a Fulbright program for German PhD students who want to do research at American universities: fulbright.de/programs-for-germans