Taylor Ray served as a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) at the SSRC, where she worked alongside Dr. Sujan Anreddy, and the rest of the interdisciplinary team on the center’s project related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the project sought to understand negative emotions experienced throughout the pandemic by utilizing sentiment extracted from social media posts across varying platforms (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and others). Additional project goals included analysis of scams that are inherent to and present within social media, especially when misinformation can be used maliciously upon vulnerable groups. Taylor’s major contributions toward the project included tasks such as writing programming scripts to obtain the COVID-related social media data, managing the database used to store retrieved data, aiding in the dissemination of the data to the public, and any other needs that are computational in nature.Taylor earned a B.S. in Computer Science with a minor in Anthropology (cum laude) at Mississippi State University in 2019 and a M.S. degree in Computer Science with a primary specialization in artificial intelligence and a secondary specialization in data science in 2021.
Ms. Delma Nieves-Rivera is a former Graduate Research Assistant at the Social Science Research Center (SSRC). She is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Computer Science at Mississippi State University. Her research interests include Machine Learning, Game Theory and Multi-Agent Systems.
Dr. Viswadeep Lebakula is a research and development associate in geoinformatics engineering in the geospatial science and human security division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he uses big data analysis and machine learning to forecast things like energy demand and public health. Dr. Lebakula was with the SSRC from 2018-2021. In the DS3 Laboratory as a Big data-ML Architect, his responsibilities included building and maintaining Hadoop cluster, implementing ML tools like Sentiment analysis for Twitter data, and developing pipelines for deploying ML techniques on Cluster.
Dr. Ronald E. Cossman was a Research Professor and Research Fellow at the SSRC, Principal Investigator for the Northeast Mississippi Area Health Education Center and P.I. for the Mississippi Center for Health Workforce. Dr. Cossman focused his research on the spatial analysis and visualization of health conditions. He used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and data visualization technologies to investigate the relationships between social and environmental factors and resulting health outcomes such as death rate patterns and chronic illness patterns. His research has appeared in the Population Health Metrics, American Journal of Public Health, Population Research and Policy Review, the International Journal of Health Geographics, Health & Place, and Journal of Maps. He also authored several policy papers and policy briefs for the Mississippi Health Policy Research Center including “Leading Causes of Death Among Children in Mississippi,” “Impacts of Primary Seat Belt Laws on Motor Vehicle Deaths Among Mississippi’s Youth”, “Motor Vehicle Injuries and Deaths Among Children in Mississippi: The Role of a DUI Child Endangerment Law” and “Underage Drinking and Driving in Mississippi: A Review of the Issue and Synthesis of the Literature.”Dr. Cossman earned his bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, FL (1992), his master’s degree in demography and population studies from Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL (1993), and his doctoral degree in geography from the University of Colorado, Boulder (2001). His dissertation title was “Secular Trends and Spatial Clusters of Inequality in U.S. Metropolitan Areas, 1970 to 1990.”Dr. Cossman’s community service is through Starkville in Motion, a grass-roots organization promoting the development and maintenance of bike lanes, sidewalks, trails and improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety in Starkville Mississippi and Oktibbeha County. He authored the funded $1.5 million Lynn Lane multi-use path grant on behalf of the City of Starkville. He was a co-author for the funded $280,000 Safe Routes to Schools grant through the Mississippi Department of Transportation on behalf of the Starkville School District.
ORCID iD iconhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-8676-7736