aaron.casa
Learning is a road of no return
学习是不归之路

ABOUT AARON ( 黄毅凯 )

I am a doctoral candidate at the Department of Communications and New Media at the National University of Singapore (online version of my curriculum vitae available here). I currently serve as the department's graduate student representative, protecting and representing the interests of the graduate students in the department.

Before starting my doctoral study, I taught at the same department for ten years: three years as a teaching assistant and seven years as a lecturer. I also received my Masters of Arts and Bachelors of Social Sciences with Honours from the department and was awarded the NTUC Income Prize for topping my undergraduate cohort.

I am an advocate of open-source software. I am familiar with Linux, with my experience mainly in Debian-based distros such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint. I am also a professional English copywriter and editor with years of experience in a wide range of writing styles, from news writing to scholarly writing.

Like every Singaporean male, I serve National Service. I am a trained combat engineer and currently serve as a Regimental Sergeant-Major holding the rank of Third Warrant Officer in the Singapore Armed Forces, where I ensure training standards, safety, and discipline of men and junior commanders in my battalion. In 2020, I won the Singapore Combat Engineers Formation's National Serviceman of the Year award for my contributions to National Service.

I am a sixth-generation Singaporean of ethnic Teochew(潮州)Chinese descent. Unfortunately, while I can understand the Teochew dialect, I don't speak it very well. I possess native, first language proficiency in English and Mandarin Chinese. I am married to a lovely wife, and we have two daughters.

RESEARCH

My research interests range widely. Broadly, I am interested in media effects, public relations, health communication, emotions, fake news and online misinformation, public opinion, cognitive science, big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and critical theory, especially in Asian contexts. I have published papers in these areas (for details, see my CV).

Currently, I am focusing on investigating the role of emotions in online health misinformation, and I hope to develop a theoretical model that explains the mechanisms behind why people believe in online health misinformation (e.g. vaccines cause autism).

I prefer quantitative methods (but I do qualitative research too!) and am familiar with classical statistical analyses used in the field of communications such as t-test, ANOVA, and linear regression. I also have experience with generalized linear models, structural equation modeling, and mixed-effects models.

As part of my open-source software advocacy, I primarily use R: The Project for Statistical Computing with RStudio to analyse my data and visualize them. For Python, I use the Anaconda distribution to conduct statistical analysis, data visualization, big data analysis, and machine learning. In terms of machine learning, my main interest is in Natural Language Processing.

TEACHING

Classes I have previously taught include media writing, visual communication, print design, web design and managing communication campaigns. My key expertise is effectively teaching the technical (e.g. copywriting, copyediting, visual design, coding, applied statistics) to students regardless of their background. Many of my students have graduated to become successful, technically competent, and well-rounded professionals.

I strongly believe that communication professionals and scholars need sufficient technical expertise to understand programmers and computer scientists so that they can better integrate their communication and social science expertise and perspectives into the development and application of digital technology.

Therefore, besides the classes I am already experienced in teaching, future classes that I plan to design and teach include courses on big data, machine learning, and digital security. The prevalence of digital technologies in everyday life will only increase, and I seek to also equip future communication professionals and scholars with computational knowledgeable and technical expertise so that they are well-equipped to handle future communication challenges.

Professionally, I write and instruct in English, but my native-level proficiency in Mandarin Chinese is an additional teaching asset. I can code-switch easily in teaching, which is especially helpful for Chinese students whose English is a second language. I am highly experienced in helping both Chinese students and researchers at all levels to overcome their structural English disadvantage in professional speaking and writing.

I am grateful that my students rate me as an excellent teacher. I have won multiple teaching awards (see here, here and here) and I have been placed on the Faculty of Arts and Social Science's Honour Roll for winning the Graduate Student Teaching Award three consecutive times. An ex-student blogged about taking my class here.

CONTACT

Need to get in touch about my research, propose a collaboration, or to get a reference letter? Drop me a line using the form below.