Libby Hemphill

Director, Resource Center for Minority Data at ICPSR
Associate Professor at UMSI

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ORCID: 0000-0002-3793-7281

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About Me

I study politicians, non-profit organizations, and television fans to understand how people use social media to organize, discuss, and enact social change. My work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Nayar Prize, Mozilla, Amazon, DiscoverText, and Illinois Institute of Technology.

Social media has some very real toxicity challenges, like harassment and cyberbullying, that diminish its utility for collective and democratic efforts, so I work on curbing those too (Mozilla Grant, Nayar Prize).

I have a few titles at the University of Michigan:

From 2010 - 2017, I was a faculty member in the Humanities Department and directed the Collective Action and Social Media Lab at Illinois Institute of Technology.

Work with Me

I’m recruiting PhD students to work with me at both UMSI and ICPSR. Check out some of my research or other activities, and contact me if you’re interested.

PhD students will be admitted through the School of Information; applications are due December 1. I’m looking for 2-3 PhD students who are interested in

I’m especially interested in students who are curious about the impact of social media on democracy and civic engagement and how we can use computation and automation to make conversations and participation more just and accessible. You should have stats and computational expertise or be willing to gain some quickly. You should also have expertise or a strong interest in political science, critical race and feminism studies, and/or communication.

For instance, one of the papers I’m writing now uses a classification model we developed in Python using scikit-learn and nltk. We label tweets with that model and then use multinomial logisitic regression to understand differences between policy tweeting patterns in Congress. I use this approach—build and train a model, label some content, analyze the patterns, and explain the implications for political science and communication—in most of my work, and you should be interested in those steps and experienced in at least one of them.

Current Research Projects

Get in Touch

Email is best.

Curriculum Vitae

Here’s a PDF of my CV, and a few recent publications:

Working Papers

Some of my work that’s not (yet) published. These are workshop papers, papers under review, and/or longer versions of papers for conferences that review only abstracts during submission.

You can find more at