Ziad Matni

Comm & Info Technologies

Office Hours

On Zoom, see specific class syllabi
By appointment

Contact Phone

805-893-4882 (I don't check messages here)

Office Location

SSMS 4409


Human Information Behavior around Social Media, Social Networks, Information System Design, People as Sources of Data


PhD, Rutgers University, 2018

MSEE, University of Southern California, 1996

BSEE, University of Southern California, 1994

BA, Liberal Arts, St. Mary's College of California, 1994


Ziad Matni wants to better understand why and how we connect online, especially through the lens of socially-networked online communities and social media. Specifically, he is interested in using social media tools in novel ways to help us understand new and interesting things about ourselves, our social networks, our communities, and our neighborhoods. His research design approach is anchored in the quantitative end of things, such as designing web-based tools to collect data on participants’ information-related behaviors, but he also employs some qualitative approaches too.

His initial educational background is in electrical and computer engineering (ECE) and liberal arts and he has worked in industry for over 13 years - mostly in high speed digital communication system design and marketing in Southern California. His passion for teaching and academic research, however, has taken him back into academia and he earned his Ph.D. in Information Science at Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information after teaching there (as instructor of record) for 6 years. At Rutgers, he was awarded the SC&I Fellowship for 3 years and won the Best Instructor award in 2016.

His hobbies include music performance, cooking, international travel, and staying sane in the face of raising two little human beings. He is very excited and grateful to pursue the start of his academic career at UC Santa Barbara!


Ziad's research covers areas in human information behavior, social networks and social network analysis, technology in communication, social media, and human-computer interaction. 

His dissertation explored aspects of information seeking behavior in different social network topologies and under different uncertainty settings. This work also used human-computer interaction design, game design and game theory.


Dpt. of Communication

COMM 160DS: Data Science in Communication Research (cross-listed with the Data Science Initiative)

COMM 169: Social Networks

COMM 88: Communication Research Methods


Dpt. of Computer Science

See my CMPSC Dept. Website