Tunazzina Islam

The 16th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM 2022) is my first in-person international conference after three years because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In ICWSM’22, I had a long paper accepted as a first author. This paper has a special place in my heart because I wrote the paper while I was 23 weeks pregnant with my baby girl, and I presented the paper accompanied by my daughter, who was 8.5 months old then. I also attended ICWSM 2021 virtually and presented a long paper carrying her inside. So I would say attending ICWSM is always special for me.

The paper I presented in ICWSM 2022 is “Twitter User Representation Using Weakly Supervised Graph Embedding”. In this paper, we propose a weakly supervised graph embedding based Expectation–maximization (EM)-style framework to characterize user types in social media. To demonstrate our model’s effectiveness, we perform extensive experiments on real-world datasets focusing on ‘yoga’ & ‘keto diet,’ and our model outperforms the baselines. Using our model with minimal tweaking in keyword selection for generating weak labels, we can distinguish any user types that are not from the yoga/keto lifestyle communities. Our work can lead to new discussions on analyzing health users’ account types. While we focus on lifestyle-related tweets (i.e., yoga, keto), our method for constructing user representation readily generalizes to other domains.

Talking about the conference, ICWSM 2022 was full of activities. The conference was held from June 6th – 9th in a hybrid format, both in-person in Atlanta, Georgia and online. The first day was a workshop and tutorial day. I attended two tutorial sessions and two workshops. The main conference started on June 7th. Another excellent idea of this conference I like more is that there is no parallel session for conference paper presentations. So I could attend every session. In addition, I attended social events, i.e., Science Slam, and Banquet Dinner. Science slam is a lighthearted scientific event where presenters compete with short, engaging, funny talks about research. The Banquet Dinner was held at Park Tavern, which blends a rich history with the modern skyline views of Atlanta. The conference provided rides for Banquet Dinner, and I also brought my daughter to the Banquet, who was the tinniest attendee. My paper presentation was held on June 8th. Besides, I also served as a student volunteer at ICWSM 2022, and my duty was scheduled for June 9th. Overall, I was amazed by the great effort of the ICWSM community in preparing a conference with oral and poster presentations, keynote talks, networking events, tutorials, workshops, and social events.

I am thankful that I have been part of the ICWSM conference. Besides the exciting talks, workshops, and tutorials, it offered an excellent opportunity for me to network with other students and outstanding researchers from both academia and industry. Throughout the conference, I had several exciting conversations with fellow researchers about their work and my own. In addition, I discovered numerous papers that I look forward to reading after speaking to their authors. So again, I am grateful to be warmly welcomed by my research community. Finally, I would like to thank ACM-W for giving me the valuable opportunity to share knowledge and research experiences with other researchers worldwide.