About Me

As the bulk of everyday social interactions moves online, we are presented with unprecedented opportunities to study human behavior at enormous scale and with fine granularity.

One aspect of my research focuses on understanding how individuals navigate these online social spaces to find and share information or connect with others.The other aspect of my research focuses on the challenges of analyzing and understanding such large-scale interaction data and the development of novel interactive visualization systems for navigating large, complex networks.

Prior to starting the PhD program, I obtained an M.A. in Philosophy and a B.S. in Mathematics with a minor in Symbolic Systems in 2006 (also from Stanford). In between, I worked at several different places, but most notably in the ASC Group at PARC, where I was mentored by Peter Pirolli, who I thank for sparking my interset in doing social computing research.

Research Areas

Socially-Mediated Information Consumption

A large portion of the information we seek and consume online comes to us through social channels. How do users leverage social sources in order to answer important questions? How can we design tools to improve users' efficiency in browsing incoming social content?

User Sub-grouping within Online Spaces

The Internet provides a variety of structured and unstructured places for people to assemble. What factors influence whether social groups will flourish or dissipate? What patterns of collective behavior can we observe in ad hoc interest groups formed around novel events?

Visualizing & Exploring Large Networks

Networks provide a powerful framework for analyzing large-scale interaction, but visualization representation techniques simply have not scaled. How can we facilitate discovery of high-level patterns in networks? How can we help users uncover specific nodes, edges, or clusters of interest?

Selected Publications

Refinery: Visual Exploration of Large, Heterogeneous Networks through Associative Browsing

Sanjay Kairam, Nathalie Henry Riche, Steven M. Drucker, Roland Fernandez, Jeffrey Heer

EuroVis 2015: Eurographics Conference on Visualization

PDF

A Knowledge Tracing Model of Learning from a Social Tagging System

Peter Pirolli, Sanjay Kairam

UMUAI 2013: The Journal of User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction.

James Chen Best Paper Award PDF

Towards Supporting Search over Trending Events with Social Media

Sanjay Kairam, Meredith Ringel Morris, Jaime Teevan, Dan Liebling, Susan Dumais

ICWSM 2013: AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media

Honorable Mention PDF

GraphPrism: Compact Visualization of Network Structure

Sanjay Kairam, Diana MacLean, Manolis Savva, Jeffrey Heer

AVI 2012: ACM Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces

PDF

Talking in Circles: Selective Sharing in Google+

Sanjay Kairam, Mike Brzozowski, David Huffaker, Ed H. Chi

CHI 2012: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

PDF

The Life and Death of Online Groups: Predicting Group Growth and Longevity

Sanjay Kairam, Dan J. Wang, Jure Leskovec

WSDM 2012: ACM Conference on Web Search and Data Mining

PDF

Eddi: Interactive Topic-Based Browsing of Social Status Streams

Michael S. Bernstein, Bongwon Suh, Lichan Hong, Jilin Chen, Sanjay Kairam, Ed H. Chi

UIST 2010: ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology

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Designing a Cross-Channel Information Management Tool for Workers in Enterprise Task Forces

Gregorio Convertino, Sanjay Kairam, Lichan Hong, Bongwon Suh, Ed H. Chi

AVI 2010: ACM Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces

PDF

FeedWinnower: Layering Structures over Collections of Information Streams

Lichan Hong, Gregorio Convertino, Bongwon Suh, Ed H. Chi, Sanjay Kairam

CHI 2010: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

PDF

Do Your Friends Make You Smarter? An Analysis of Social Strategies in Online Information Seeking

Brynn M. Evans, Sanjay Kairam, Peter Pirolli

IP&M 2010: Information Processing and Management

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Exploring the Cognitive Consequences of Social Search

Brynn M. Evans, Sanjay Kairam, Peter Pirolli

CHI 2009: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Works-in-Progress)

2nd Place: Student Research Competition PDF