Messi (Hojun) Lee

Psychological & Brain Sciences

Calvin Lai

I graduated from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2020 with a BSc in Quantitative Social Analysis. During his time in Hong Kong, I discovered interests in computational social sciences. As an undergraduate, I studied ideologies and sentiments in censored song lyrics during the Third and Fourth Republic of South Korea and political astroturfing campaigns on social media.  

I joined the Division of Computational and Data Sciences (DCDS) at Washington University in St.Louis as a PhD student in the Fall of 2020. Since joining the program, I haveworked with Professor Jacob Montgomery in the Department of Political Science and Professor Calvin Lai in Psychological & Brain Sciences. I am currently working at the Diversity Science Lab.                       

Research interests and current project:
My is interested in studying implicit intergroup biases using word embeddings. I am currently working on a project to understand if and how the language of legislators influence the language used by the general public on social media.            

Why did you decide to pursue your PhD at WashU?
I have enjoyed doing research as an undergraduate research assistant, but by the time of graduation, I realized that none of my research experiences were led by my own research questions. So, I was looking for graduate schools that offered the opportunity to explore research possibilities, to talk to a broad network of researchers and to define my own research project. DCDS was a singular program that provided students with exactly what I was looking for: opportunities to meet and talk to researchers from multiple disciplines and rotations to experience working at multiple labs and to navigate through unique combinations of disciplines to find questions of genuine interest.