School of Integrated Sciences

ISAT welcomes Dr. Xuebin Wei


By: Stephen Roddewig

“It will take time to understand, to learn. If you feel stressed and frustrated, that’s normal. Do physical exercises before you study, because that can help you release stress and concentrate on learning.” – Dr. WeiXuebin Wei

This fall, the Department of Integrated Science and Technology welcomed Dr. Xuebin Wei, Assistant Professor in the Geographic Science (GS) and Intelligence Analysis (IA) programs.

Wei graduated with a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Georgia in 2015, and is in his second year of teaching at JMU after serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor. He currently teaches Data Mining, Modeling and Discovery (IA 340).  “I really like the class,” Wei said. “It fits with my research interests.” Wei incorporates data mining tools into his teaching process to aid students with research. “I enjoy helping students understand technology,” said Wei. “I enjoy seeing how they learn about databases and how to extract information for their studies, for their research, and for their future work.”

With a focus on data mining, Wei’s research centers on collecting data from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to help him understand human activities in social and spatial dimensions. He also maintains a website to help his students learn how to use data mining programs for research in social media. “Intelligence analysis needs these technologies,” Wei said. “Social media is an important part of the intelligence analysis field.”

Currently, Wei is working with a professor at National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan to collect Facebook and Twitter data on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in natural disaster areas. “We are trying to find patterns of how they work together and broadcast the information to attract people’s attention to these disasters,” said Wei.

Wei was born in Western China and earned a Bachelor of Engineering in urban planning at Wuhan University. “Harrisonburg reminds me of my hometown, where I can see the mountains every day,” said Wei. “When I visited here for my first interview, I really loved the place. The faculty are very supportive and the students are energetic.”

Outside of the classroom, Wei visits the University Recreation Center (UREC) regularly. He also spends his spare time preparing for his wife’s arrival from China. “I got married this past summer,” said Wei. “Hopefully she comes for Christmas.”

Wei concluded with advice for students: “Get involved in different activities. There are a lot of great opportunities at JMU, like Study Abroad, that can help you succeed. They may not help your grade on the final exam, but they will help you be successful in the future.”

Published: Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 24, 2018

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