Alvin Zhou is an Assistant Professor at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. His research centers around computational social science and strategic communication. Specifically, he studies advertising, public relations, audience analytics, and the various ways digital technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence, platform design, mobile access, behavioral trace) are changing their industry practices and social implications.

His work has appeared in journals across communication subfields, including New Media & Society, Journal of Communication, Journal of Public Relations Research, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Mass Communication and Society, Public Relations Review, Social Media + Society, and Political Communication. His research has received eight top paper awards from the International Communication Association (ICA), the National Communication Association (NCA), the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), including the 2019 ICA Robert Heath Award and the 2020 NCA PRIDE Article of the Year Award.

Dr. Zhou earned his Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School. Prior to that, he earned an M.A. in Statistics and Data Science from the Wharton School and an M.A. in Strategic Public Relations from the University of Southern California Annenberg School. He graduated from Tsinghua University with dual degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Journalism. At Hubbard, he teaches courses on computational social science and digital media, and mentors students to use insights from data analytics for their journalistic and strategic work.

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Communication, The Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania
  • M.A.: Statistics and Data Science, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
  • M.A.: Strategic Public Relations, The Annenberg School, University of Southern California
  • B.Eng.: Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Tsinghua University
  • B.A.: Journalism, Tsinghua University


  • Computational Social Science
  • Audience Analytics
  • Strategic Communication