Alejandro (Alex) Jaimes, Ph.D.

I'm a scientist and innovator with 15+ years of international experience in research leading to product impact (Yahoo, KAIST, Telefonica, IDIAP-EPFL, Fuji Xerox, IBM, Siemens, and AT&T Bell Labs). I've worked in the USA, Japan, Chile, Switzerland, Spain, and South Korea and I have a Ph.D. from Columbia University [LinkedIn, publications].

At Yahoo, I am Director of Research, managing a team of scientists and engineers in Barcelona, Bangalore, and New York City. My activities include setting the research strategies, and directly contributing to several Yahoo products such as Yahoo News, Image and Video search, Flickr, and others.

My work focuses on using large-scale data analysis to gain insights into human behavior for improving and creating new products. I design and build applications, and work on Human-Centered Computing, at the intersection of data science [social network analysis, behavioral insights], user experience [interaction, multimedia, design], and business [visualization, analytics], combining quantitative and qualitative methods for innovation.

I like to make art, travel, read, and explore different cultures. I have worked and lived in 8 cities in 4 continents [Bogota, New York, Santiago de Chile, Tokyo, Lausanne, Madrid, Barcelona, Daejeon] and traveled in 80+ countries [Flickr].

External projects: Social Sensor, ARCOMEM, and the CENIT Social Media.

e-mail: aj27 [ at ] caa dot columbia dot edu


Honorary General chair, Intl. Conf. on Social Informatics (SocInfo 2014), Barcelona, Nov. 10-13, 2014.
Workshops chair, KDD 2014, New York City, August 2014.
Co-chair, Developers track, WWW 2014, Seoul, Korea, April 7-11, 2014.
Industry chair, ICMR 2014, Glasgow, UK, April 1-5, 2014.
General chair, ACM Multimedia 2013, Barcelona, Oct. 21-25, 2013.

Recent Invited Talks (selection):

  • PASS Business Analytics Conference, San Jose, CA, May 7-9, 2014.
  • Computing Big Data Summit, London, March 27th, 2014.
  • Intl Workshop on Social Machines in conjunction with WWW, Seoul, Korea, April 7-11, 2014.
  • Intl. Workshop on Social News on the Web (SNOW) in conjunction with WWW, Seoul, Korea, April 7-11, 2014.
  • Intl. Conference on Multimedia Information Retrieval (ICMR 2014), Glasgow, Scotland, April 1-4, 2014.
  • Yahoo Big Thinker Series, Bangalore, India, Dec. 2013.
  • Big Data & Analytics Innovation Summit, Dublin, October 17-18, 2013.
  • 17th International Database Engineering & Applications Symposium (DEAS '13), Barcelona, Oct, 9-11, 2013.
  • ECCS 2013 Barcelona "Global Computing for our Complex Connected World", Barcelona, Sept. 2013.
  • 3rd Intl. Workshop on Interactive Multimedia on Mobile and Portable Devices at ACM Multimedia 2013.
  • Workshop on Event-based Media Integration and Processing at ACM Multimedia 2013, Barcelona, Oct. 2013..
  • Cornell University, AI Symposium, Ithaca, NY, Sept., 2013.
  • Intl. Workshop on Business Applications of Social Network Analysis (BASNA) at IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining  (ASONAM), Niagara Falls, Aug. 2013.
  • KAIST, Daejeon, Korea, June 2013.
  • International Workshop on Search Computing, Sept. 25-26, Brussels, Belgium, 2012.
  • Affective Computing for Mobile HCI Workshop, Sept. 17-18, Istanbul, Turkey, 2012.
  • Intl. Summer School on Ubiquitous Interaction, Oulu, Finland, May 28-June 1, 2012.
  • Winter School on Information Retrieval, Zinal, Switzerland, January 2012.
  • Keynote, VIII Top-IX Conference,"Big Data in a Living Web", Torino, Italy, Dec. 2011
  • Keynote, IEEE Intl. Conf. on Mobile Multimedia (MUM 2011), Beijing, China, December 2011
  • Madrid Science Week, Panel on Digital Living, November 2011
  • W3C Social Business Jam, leading session on Mobile & Social, November 10, 2011
  • ASSETS Workshop, Pisa, Italy, October 2011
  • ICME 2011 Panel on Social Media, Barcelona, Spain, July 2011
  • Summer School on Social Networks, Alicante, Spain, June 2011
  • BDigital Global Congress 2011, Barcelona, Spain, June 2011
  • Workshop on Global Research Data Infrastructures: The Big Data Challenges, Capri, Italy, May 2011
  • EC Media Search Cluster Meeting, Trento, Italy, April 2011
  • WWW 2011 Panel on Social Media, Hyderabad, India, March 2011

Recent publications (selection):

  •  "Follow My Friends this Friday! An Analysis of Human-Generated Friendship Recommendations", SocInfo 2013.
  •  "Automatic Selection of Social Media Responses to News," Intl. Conf. on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (ACM KDD 2013), Chicago, 2013 (with T. Stajner, B. Thomee, M. Pennacchiotti, A. Popescu).
  •  "Competition-based networks for expert finding," SIGIR 2013 (with Ç. Aslay, N. O'Hare, L.M. Aiello)
  •  "Distinguishing topical and social groups based on common identity and bond theory," WSDM 2013 (with P.A. Grabowicz, L.M. Aiello, V.M. Eguíluz)
  •  "Analyzing Favorite Behavior in Flickr," Intl. Conf. on Multimedia Modeling (with M. Lipczak, M. Trevisiol)
  • "PRiSMA: Searching Images in Parallel," ACM Multimedia 2012 (with Pancho Tolchinsky and Luca Chiarandini)
  • "Predicting Participants in Public Events using Stock Photos," ACM Multimedia 2012 (with Neil O'Hare and Luca Aiello)
  • "Image Ranking Based on User Browsing Behavior," ACM SIGIR 2012 (with M. Trevisiol, L. Chiarandini, L. Aiello)
  • "Understanding and Leveraging Tag-based Relations in On-line Social Networks," ACM HyperText 2012 (with M. Lipczak, B. Sigurbjornsson)
  • "Discovering Social Photo Navigation Patterns," at ICME 2012 (with M. Trevisiol, L. Chiarandini)
  • "Lin-spiration: Using a Mixture of Spiral and Linear Layouts to Explore Time Series," at IUI 2012 (with E. Graells)
  • "Correlating Financial Time Series with Micro-Blogging Activity," at WSDM 2012 (with E.J. Ruiz, V. Hristidis, C. Castillo, A. Gionis).
  • "Do All Birds Tweet the Same? Characterizing Twitter Around the Word," at CIKM'11 (with B. Poblete, R. Garcia, M. Mendoza).
  • "Social Network Analaysis and Mining for Business Applications," Special Issue on Machine Learning for Business Applications, ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology, 2011 (with F. Bonchi, A. Gionis, C. Castillo).
  • "Who Uses Web Search for What? and How?" at WSDM 2011 (with I. Weber).
  • "Demographic Information Flows" at CIKM 2010 (with I. Weber).
  • "Sonify Your Face: Facial Expressions for Sound Generation," at ACM Multimedia 2010 (with R. Valenti, N. Sebe)

Recent Professional activities:

Senior program committee member (ACM RecSys 2011, IJCAI 2011, ICWSM 2011, etc.)