Kevin Zheng



hi@ze.vinLinkedIn

Education

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Graduated summa cum laude, Commonwealth Honors College Scholar with Greatest Distinction

Sep 2018 - May 2022

GPA: 3.947/4

BS Computer Engineering, College of Engineering

Honors Thesis: Language Classification and Transcription of a Massive Online Video Corpus Towards Measuring the Prevalence of Online Hate Speech (supervised by Ethan Zuckerman)

Senior Design Project: RiverSense: Remote River Monitoring

Coursework: Fixing Social Media, System Software Design, Trustworthy Computing, Security Engineering, Computer Networking, Embedded Systems, Probability and Statistics

BA Science, Technology, and Society, Bachelor's Degree with Individual Concentration

Coursework: Social Life of Algorithms; Politics of Data (taken at Smith College); Technology, Power & Governance; Feminism & Environmental Justice; Gender & Race in US Social Policy

Faculty Sponsor: Neal Anderson, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Certificate in Renewable Energy, Integrated Concentration in STEM (iCons) program



Research

Initiative for Digital Public Infrastructure, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Director: Ethan Zuckerman, Associate Professor of Information, Public Policy, and Communication

Community Manager and Research Fellow

Aug 2022 — Aug 2024

  • Project lead for Smalltown, an experimental social network for local civic conversations that promotes diverse and inclusive public engagement on civic issues
  • Developing and maintaining long-term partnerships with local individuals and organizations that serve as liaisons for our deployments in Amherst, MA and South Holland, IL
  • Creating and curating posts on local issues in each Smalltown deployment
  • Supporting our community partners in moderating and maintaining their online spaces
Undergraduate Researcher

Sep 2021 — May 2022

  • Developed efficient method for generating large, representative collections of YouTube videos
  • Scraped and auto-transcribed videos from hundreds of known hateful and extremist channels



Media Cloud

Principal investigators: Ethan Zuckerman (Founder, UMass Amherst), Fernando Bermejo (Project Director, IE University), Rahul Bhargava (Technical Lead, Northeastern University)

Researcher, International Hate Observatory Project

Aug 2022 — Aug 2024

  • Developing public tools to build large randomly sampled and recommendation-based collections of YouTube videos to study the spread of hateful and extremist content
  • Analyzing collections of random YouTube videos to uncover general trends in the platform
  • Sharing de-identified data from randomly sampled videos with the public through TubeStats.org, a data dashboard with statistics about the platform
Summer Researcher

May 2022 — Aug 2022

  • Developed Python scripts to generate trees of YouTube video recommendations of arbitrary depth for studying the content recommendation system
  • Assisted other Media Cloud projects with transcribing audio and downloading metadata for individual videos and entire channels



Department of Communication, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Principal investigator: Burcu Baykurt, Assistant Professor of Media Studies and Communication

Research Assistant, “Urban Data Analytics” project

Sep 2021 — May 2022

  • Assessed how municipalities are producing, analyzing, and using data in their operations, policy creation, and policy enforcement
  • Labeled features of municipal COVID-19 dashboards
  • Assisted in scheduling and conducting interviews with local public health and technology officials to examine the development and policy impacts of the dashboards in 30 US cities
  • Assisted in scheduling and conducting interviews with founders of companies that are selling data analytics tools to municipalities



Institute for Applied Life Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Supervisor: Jeremy Gummeson, Research Staff, Mobile Health Sensing and Analytics Core Facility

Core Summer Intern (Research Experience for Undergraduates)

May 2019 — Aug 2019

  • Developed Arduino-based electric bicycle accessory to collect and upload data on location, distance traveled, and speed for trips taken on e-bikes without need for user intervention
  • Deployed 10 e-bikes outfitted with data collection accessory into local community to analyze electric bicycle usage patterns
  • Co-instructed and created lesson plans for summer program on machine learning and health sensing for 15 local high school students



Publications

Published/Accepted

McGrady, Ryan, Kevin Zheng, Rebecca Curran, Jason Baumgartner, and Ethan Zuckerman. 2023. “Dialing for Videos: A Random Sample of YouTube”. Journal of Quantitative Description: Digital Media 3 (December). https://doi.org/10.51685/jqd.2023.022.



Professional Experience

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau / Center for Information Technology Policy

Washington, DC / Princeton, NJ

Supervisor: Erie Meyer, Chief Technologist and Senior Advisor to the Director

Public Interest Technology Fellow, Office of the Chief Technologist

Jun 2022 — Aug 2022

  • Selected for the Center for Information Technology Policy’s “Public Interest Technology Summer Fellowship” as one of 19 fellows working on technology policy at a federal, state, or local agency
  • Researched emerging regulatory issues in financial technology products including cryptocurrencies, buy-now-pay-later loans, and peer-to-peer payment services
  • Developed a report for state financial regulators and state attorneys general that outlines areas of collaboration between states and the CFPB on enforcing consumer protection laws



Epic

Madison, WI

Software Developer Intern

May 2021 — Aug 2021

  • Developed tool for Epic’s in-house translation team that automatically retrieves and displays relevant and essential string context to aid in the translation of electronic health record software
  • Conducted regular user interviews and testing with translators to inform the development of the tool



Property Matrix

Culver City, CA

Software Development Intern

May 2020 — Aug 2020

  • Developed automated test scripts using Ruby and Selenium WebDriver to ensure long-term functionality and data accuracy of property management software



Commonwealth Honors College, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Amherst, MA

Peer Ambassador Coordinator, Student Recruitment

Aug 2021 — May 2022

  • Represented the college to prospective students and families in small-group information sessions and at admissions events attended by hundreds of students and families
  • Assisted Associate Dean with hiring Peer Ambassadors and developing training curricula
Peer Ambassador, Student Recruitment

Aug 2019 – Aug 2022



Museum of Science

Boston, MA

Program Assistant, Engineering Design Workshop

May 2018 — Apr 2020

  • Facilitated hands-on engineering and computer science activities to thousands of daily visitors
  • Trained and supervised youth interns and volunteers in activity facilitation
Intern, Engineering Design Workshop

May 2017 — Aug 2017

Volunteer, Engineering Design Workshop

May 2016 — Aug 2016



Awards

William F. Field Alumni Scholar Award

UMass Amherst Alumni Association

May 2021

Named by Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty and College of Engineering Dean as one of the most academically distinguished students in the class of 2022.

Massachusetts High Demand Scholarship

Massachusetts Department of Higher Education

April 2021

Dean's List

University of Massachusetts Amherst

All semesters, Sep 2018 — May 2022

Professional Service

Invited keynote alumni speaker at Student Organizations in Computer Science Celebration, UMass Amherst College of Information and Computer Sciences, Nov 2022.

Affiliate researcher, UMass Amherst Institute of Diversity Sciences, Fall 2022.

Invited panelist at Core Summer Internship alumni panel, UMass Amherst Institute for Applied Life Sciences, UMass Amherst, Jul 2022.

Co-founder, UMass Amherst Responsible Technology Coalition, Spring 2022. (RTC is an interdisciplinary student organization dedicated to the advancement of dialogue, policy, and practice around responsible technology at UMass and society at large.)

Invited panelist at Honors Thesis workshop. UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honors College, Oct 2021.