Dr. Yelena Mejova

Dr. Yelena Mejova 
Social Computing

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With an energy of a startup and a quality of world-class research institute, QCRI is a perfect place for scientists bent on impacting their field and society.

Research Focus at QCRI

Specializing in social media analysis and mining, Yelena’s work concerns the quantification of health and wellbeing signals in social media, as well as tracking of social phenomena including politics and news consumption. Recently, she co-edited a volume on the use of Twitter for social science in Twitter: A Digital Socioscope, and a special issue of Social Science Computer Review on Quantifying Politics Using Online Data.

Previous Experience

Previously, as a postdoctoral member of the Web Mining team at Yahoo! Research Barcelona, Yelena participated in the Linguistically Motivated Semantic Aggregation Engines (LiMoSINe) EU project. The design and evaluation of the resulting entity-based exploratory search system has been awarded the Best Paper Award at the ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM) in 2013.

Prior to that, her PhD thesis at the University of Iowa concerned the design and application of sentiment analysis tools for mining a variety of social media discourses, including political speech.

Yelena has published widely on sentiment analysis and its application to social media and political speech. She has given talks on the subject internationally, including Yandex’s Yet Another Conference (Moscow) and American University of Beirut.

Professional Experience

  • Yahoo! Research, Barcelona, post-doctorate researcher, 2012-2013
  • IBM Watson Research Center, Hawthorne, intern, 2010
  • University of Iowa, researcher & teaching assistant, 2007-2012

Professional Associations and Awards

  • Challenge 22 is an innovation award launched in 2015 by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), along with its Strategic Partners on this programme, Silatech and Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). Challenge 22 gives entrepreneurs, inventors and scientists from across the Middle East and North Africa the opportunity to showcase their ideas – across four categories – on a global scale. Yelena's team won financial support for the development of a health-related application, as well as a spot in the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) accelerator program.
  • Best paper at CIKM’13 “Penguins in Sweaters, or Serendipitous Entity Search on User-generated Content” Ilaria Bordino, Yelena Mejova, Mounia Lalmas.
  • Honorable Mention Award (top 5%) at CHI’11 “Reuse in the Wild: an Empirical and Ethnographic Study of Organizational Content Reuse” Yelena Mejova, Klaar De Schepper, Lawrence Bergman, Jie Lu.
  • Presidential Fellowship at the University of Iowa, 2007.


  • PhD in Computer Science, the University of Iowa, 2012
  • BS in Computer Science, Minnesota State University Moorhead, 2007

Selected Research

  • Norah Abokhodair, Sofiane Abbar, Sarah Vieweg, Yelena Mejova. "Privacy and Twitter in Qatar: Traditional Values in the Digital World". Web Science Conference (WebSci), 2016.
  • Ilaria Bordino, Mounia Lalmas, Yelena Mejova, Olivier Van Laere. "Beyond Entities: Promoting Explorative Search with Bundles". Information Retrieval Journal (INRT), 2016.
  •  Yelena Mejova, Sofiane Abbar, Hamed Haddadi. "Fetishizing Food in Digital Age: #foodporn Around the World". International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM), 2016.
  • Jisun An, Haewoon Kwak, Yelena Mejova, Sonia Alonso Saenz De Oger, Braulio Gomez Fortes. "Are you Charlie or Ahmed? Cultural pluralism in Charlie Hebdo response on Twitter". International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM), 2016.
  • Yelena Mejova, Hamed Haddadi, Sofiane Abbar, Azadeh Ghahghaei, Ingmar Weber. "Dietary Habits of an Expat Nation: Case of Qatar". International Conference on Healthcare Informatics (ICHI), 2015.
  • Yelena Mejova, Hamed Haddadi, Anastasios Noulas, and Ingmar Weber. "# FoodPorn: Obesity Patterns in Culinary Interactions." In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Digital Health 2015, pp. 51-58. ACM, 2015.
  • Yelena Mejova, Javier Borge-Holthoefer, Ingmar Weber. "Bridges into the Unknown: Personalizing Connections to Little-known Countries." In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2015.
  • Sofiane Abbar, Yelena Mejova, Ingmar Weber. "You Tweet What You Eat: Studying Food Consumption Through Twitter." In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2015.

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In the Media

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Can AI Put An End To Fake News? Don't Be So Sure


Fake news was the Collin’s word of the year for 2017 with good reason. In a year where politics-as-usual was torn apart at the seams, high-profile scandals rocked our faith in humanity and the ...

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MIT/QCRI system uses machine learning to build road maps


Map apps may have changed our world, but they still haven’t mapped all of it yet. Specifically, mapping roads can be difficult and tedious: even after taking aerial images, companies still have to ...

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Improving disaster response efforts through data


Extreme weather events put the most vulnerable communities at high risk. How can data analytics strengthen early warning systems and and support relief efforts for communities in need? The size and ...

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Upcoming Events

Past Events


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QCRI Summer Internship Program

Download ICS File 06/05/2018  - 05/07/2018 , Hamad Bin Khalifa Research Complex

Each year, Qatar Computing Research Institute organizes a summer internship program for undergraduate students studying computer science, computer engineering and other disciplines. The internship is unpaid, and QCRI does not provide any visa support.

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Public Talk by Prof. Regina Barzilay "Artificial Intelligence for Oncology: Learning to Cure Cancer from Images and Text"

Download ICS File 27/03/2018 ,

Artificial Intelligence for Oncology: Learning to Cure Cancer from Images and Text A talk by Professor Regina Barzilay, MIT CSAIL Winner of 2017 MacArthur ‘genius grant’ At Education City Student ...

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QCRI & MIT-CSAIL Annual Project Review 2018

Download ICS File 27/03/2018 ,

Executive Overview Sessions Open to public Date:    Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Time:    9:00AM – 3:00PM Venue:  HBKU Research Complex Multipurpose Room To view full agenda, please click here . To RSVP, ...

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News Releases

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QCRI to offer kids’ computing activities at this year’s Darb Al Saai


Tech fun and robotics computing activities will be available to children attending the annual family celebration from December 12 to 20.

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Global experts in artificial intelligence for transportation to visit Qatar for TASMU-QCAI workshop


Urban computing experts from Europe, the US and Qatar are to discuss state-of-the-art advances in artificial intelligence for transportation with local stakeholders.

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QCAI to Conduct Joint Machine Learning School with BigML


Two-day crash course to provide hands-on introduction to machine learning for industry practitioners, developers, graduate students and undergraduates.

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