Charles Chang

I am a computational social scientist who specializes in leveraging large-scale spatial data, especially those from smartphone social media. The Big Data I use have helped me in the scientific measurement and causal identification of several social science and humanistic fields by drawing on data from a wide range of sources, including geospatial, textual, network, and visual information. My first book project, “Technologies Affecting Information Exchange in Contemporary China: Green Leap Forward?” examines how the physical environment of cities shapes political communication, a phenomenon that is previously thought only tightly controlled by a relentless authoritarian regime.

Academic Positions



Gaylord Nelson Institute, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Ph.D., Environment and Resources (major), Geography (minor)
Committee: Melanie Manion (chair), Scott Gehlbach, Pierre Landry, A-Xing Zhu, Qunying Huang
Dissertation: Using New Communication Technologies to Study Contemporary China


Gaylord Nelson Institute, University of Wisconsin–Madison
M.Sc., Environment and Resources
Thesis: Understanding Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Urban Expansion in Western China


Institute of Remote Sensing Applications, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing
Ph.D. student, Quantitative Remote Sensing


Beijing Normal University, Beijing
B.Sc., Cartography and Geographic Information Systems