Sorin Adam Matei

Sorin Adam Matei

College of Liberal Arts Associate Dean of Research

Graduate Education and Professor // Communication

Office and Contact

Room: BRNG 1290P


Phone: (765) 494-3665

Get to Know Professor Sorin Adam Matei

My primary research interests are communication technologies, digital knowledge creation, data storytelling, and trust. My primary teaching interests are human AI interaction, digital analytics applications, security and strategy AI and communication technology, AI and data ethics.

I typically work with graduate students who are interested in computational methods and social scientific approaches to human AI / technology interaction. My approach to graduate advising is structured and features research collaboration supported by extramural funding. My students and I have co-authored papers and books. I also encourage them to seek out and explore individual publishing opportunities.

Ph.D., University of Southern California
M.A., Tufts University
B.A., Bucharest University

Sorin Adam Matei –  College of Liberal Arts Associated Dean of Research and Graduate Education and Professor of Communication, Brian Lamb School of Communication - studies the relationship between information technology, group behavior, and social structures in a variety of contexts. His most recent book, Structural Differentiation in Social Media studied 10 years-worth of Wikipedia editing or 250 million individual contributions to the site. The volume offers a new view on how online groups emerge. It identifies specific evolutionary phases, including a bureaucratic one. The book emphasizes the role of strong although temporary leaders for the success of any online project. His research also investigates the role played by social media cognition and emotional responses on risk-prone or risk-averse behavior in natural emergencies. He is also known for his work on ethics in big data and for his multidisciplinary, international projects, such as EUNOMIA, recently awarded a 2,900,000 Euro grant by the European Union Horizon 2020 program and Kredible.Net ([ previously funded by the National Science Foundation. Dr. Matei leads the Global Communication Study Abroad program organized with support experts from the French National Assembly and from the French Superior Council for Audio-Visual Media (FCC equivalent).

He has published 9 book and tens or articles in the Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Information Society, and Foreign Policy.  His work was funded by the National Science Foundation and is conducted in collaboration with colleagues from a variety of campus units, such as Computer Science and Engineering.  Dr. Matei's teaching portfolio includes social media analytics, online interaction and facilitation, and global social media research.  His teaching makes use of a number of software platforms he has codeveloped, such as Visible Effort or Visible Past.  Dr. Matei is also known for his media work.  He is a former BBC World Service journalist whose contributions have been published in Esquire and leading Romanian newspapers.  In Romania, he is known for his books Boierii Mintii (The Mind Boyars)Idolii forului (Idols of the forum), and Idei de schimb (Spare ideas).


Representative Publications
Matei, S. A. & Britt, B. C. (2017). Structural Differentiation in Social Media. Springer. New York. Collmann, J. & Matei, S. A. (2016). Ethical Reasoning in Big Data. Springer: New York., S.A., Russell, M. & Bertino, E. (2015). Transparency in social media. Springer: New York., S. A., & Bertino, E. (2014). Roles, Trust, and Reputation in Social Media Knowledge Markets: Theory and Methods. New York: Springer New York., S. A., & Bruno, R. J. (2015). Pareto’s 80/20 law and social differentiation: A social entropy perspective. Public Relations Review, 41(2), 178–186., S., Matei, S. A., Zentner, M., Zentner, L., & Klimeck, G. (2016). Creating impact in the digital space: digital practice dependency in communities of digital scientific innovations. Scientometrics, 1–26., S., Monge, P., Bar, F., & Matei, S. A. (2007). The emergence of clusters in global telecommunications network. Journal of Communication, 57, 415-434.Matei, S. A. (2006). Globalization and heterogenization: Cultural and civilizational clustering in telecommunicative space (1989-1999). Informatics and Telematics, 23 , 316-331.Matei, S. A. and Ball-Rokeach, S. (2005). Watts, the 1965 Los Angeles riots and the communicative construction of the “fear epicenter” of Los Angeles. Communication Monographs72, 301-323.Matei, S. A. (2005). From counterculture to cyberculture: Virtual community discourse and the dilemma of modernity. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication. Vol. 10(3). Retrieved July 1, 2006, from, S.A., (2004). The Mind Boyars. Compania: Bucharest.


Interests, Achivements, and Qualifications 
Author or editor of 5 books and over 100 papers and book chapters, several award-winning. Topics:Big data and data science applied to communication and social mediaHuman computer interaction and design practices.Practical methods and principles for developing transparent and accountable social media.Evolutionary models that explain how social media knowledge groups grow and sustain themselves. (Wikipedia, Stack Overflow, etc.) in STEM education. Strategic planning and development of transdisciplinary program that lead to the transformation of the Purdue School of Technology into the Purdue PolytechnicDefined core competencies and evaluation methods using badgesDesigned experiential education methods including use of VR modelsDeveloped Purdue University core requirement course, COM 251 Information, Technology and Society. This STEAM course (Science, Technology, Engineering, Liberal Arts, and Math) is co-taught with the Polytechnic Computer Graphics Department.Developer of publishing, collaborative, and knowledge management tools inspired by theoretical researchVisible Effort: A wiki environment for self-moderation using social entropy indicators as collaborative cues http://veffort.usDevelopment of ubibooks, which combine paper books with audiobooks plugins: mapping, spatial statistics, location-aware connector to Iphone app custom designed by my team (currently on hiatus).USAtalk: Social media analytic engine and moderation tools for reducing partisanship in online conversations (under development, pilot Chicago project to start in 2018)PI, Co-PI, and leader of multiple NSF and extramural awards (EU Horizon 2020, Mellon, Kettering, Kauffman, Motorola, Department of Homeland Security)Created and led multiple cross disciplinary research teams for big data.Topics: social-behavioral uses of communication technologies; trust and authority; social structures the produce quality content; social media induced risk averse and risk prone behavior.Founder, leader and educational director of yearly Global Communication Study Abroad Program in Paris, FranceThe program was created with assistance from the Superior Council for Audiovisual Media (FCC equivalent) and the National Assembly (French Congress).Professionally oriented instructional program, focuses on learning experientially about the business, political, social and legal environment for social and digital media enterprises from or working in Europe.Core activities: meetings with leading French politicians, regulators, entrepreneurs, and academics.


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