Research Cluster 3: Social Sensing


So, what is social sensing, anyway? Today’s big data have provided enormous amount of opportunities to extract information that is relevant to the social life of human beings. As a demographer for 6 years, I was not able to have a quantitative, concrete measure of “human mobility”. Now, using GPS and spatial statistics, we have an opportunity to do that (see my research with the CDC challenge). Social sensing is about this: it is to build a reliable ecosystem with new analytical framework, creative (yet rigorous) measurements and mathematical models to discover new knowledge about human behaviors and societal characteristics; it is to test the abstract, qualitative theories/debates we yet have a firm answer of.  As a statistician, my interests are applying statistical models in the right way to complex social problems. As a social scientist, I am interested in testing theories and prior findings we are not so sure of, as well as discovering some new knowledge about us – human beings.

Basically, my research in this cluster is divided into demography and crime & deviance. My research in crime and deviance covers the general topics regarding neighborhood effects and crime. I am also interested in testing criminological theories, especially labeling, routine activity and differential association. I use a variety of quantitative methods in my criminology research, including innovative methods such as experimental designs, spatial methods and network analysis. My research interests in Demography lie broadly in the field of mathematical and statistical demography. My primary interest is to develop the statistical models for marriage, family and kinship. In addition, I am interested in developing models for short-term migration (within a small geographical unit) and residential mobility. 



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Routine Activity Space (blue: primary, black: secondary) based on Swiss CDC Data and kernel density ranking method.





Zhihang Dong “Age Homogamy And Marital Happiness Over The Life Course: What is There To Explain?” Under Review by Journal of Marriage and Family

Callie H. Burt and Zhihang Dong. “Role of Residential Stratification on Individual Propensity, Hangout Place Selection and Criminogenic Selection to the Youth” Work in Progress

Zhihang Dong* and Jize Jiang*. “A Meta-Analysis of the Crimmigration in the Punitive America: What is there to Explain?” Work in Progress


Zhihang Dong. “Structural Covariates of Crime in Texas Counties using Spatial Effects.” Annual Meetings of the Population Association of America, Washington, D.C., March, 2016.

Zhihang Dong. “Re-integrative Shaming or Disintegrative Shaming: A Revisit of First Juvenile Arrests on Secondary Deviance and Subsequent Sanctioning” Annual Meetings of the American Society of Criminology, Washington, D.C., November, 2015.

Zhihang Dong. “Conducting Survey Fieldwork in China: Observations and Problems on Collecting Primary Sexual Violence Survey Data.” Annual Meetings of the Asian Criminology Society, Hong Kong, June 2015