Yilang Peng

Doctoral Candidate

Yilang Peng is a doctoral candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication. His scholarship is at the intersection of emerging media, visual communication, science communication, and computational social science. His research has been published in venues both in communication and human-computer interaction, including the Journal of Communication, Public Understanding of Science, the International Journal of Communication, and Proceedings of the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

Given the prevalence of visual content in today’s digital media environment, one line of his scholarship explores how communication research can benefit from the use of computational tools in analyzing large-scale visual data. One project from his dissertation, published in the Journal of Communication, applied computer vision tools, such as facial recognition and computational aesthetics, to detect partisan bias in visual portrayals of political candidates from media outlets across the ideological spectrum. Another project, published in the Proceedings of the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, combined online experiments and computational linguistic analysis to investigate how the widely used photo filters could change viewers' perceptions of images.

As a former science writer, Peng is also interested in science, health, and environmental communication. One study, published in the International Journal of Communication, examined how various aesthetical features of food images could shape their visual appeal and viewers’ intention to share them online. Currently, Peng is working on a project that examines what factors contribute to the virality of science news articles on WeChat, focusing on what roles visual content can play and what makes female readers become more interested in STEM-related science stories.

Before joining Annenberg, Peng received his B.S. degrees in earth sciences and psychology from Peking University and M.A. degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Peng has worked for National Geographic (China), Guokr.com, Madison Commons, and The Why Files, primarily involved in science and multimedia journalism. His photographic work has also won several international awards, including American Aperture Awards, iPhone Photography Awards, and Smithsonian Photo Contest. He was nominated as the best 10 mobile photographers in China by Lofter and has published a book on mobile photography.

Yilang Peng is a doctoral candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication. His research interest is at the intersection of digital media, visual communication, and computational social science.

Peng's Network

  • Digital Media and Social Networks
  • Health Communication
  • Media and Communication Effects
  • Media Institutions and Systems
  • Political Communication
  • Visual Communication
  • Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication
  • Center for Health Behavior and Communication Research
  • Digital Media, Networks, and Political Communication Group