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Tempestt Neal Awarded $25,000 NSF Grant as Part of USF’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Effort

May 29, 2020 

CSE Assistant Professor Tempestt Neal received a grant from the National Science Foundation for a project titled “Exploring Racial Disparities in the Treatment, Perceptions, and Tracking of COVID-19 Through Automated Stigma Detection and Sentiment Analysis of Social Media Data.” This project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the USF's departments of Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mental Health Law & Policy, where faculty members have expertise in text analytics, writer demographics, topical profiling, and thematic coding. The researchers will extract and study discussions on COVID-19 in the African-American community with the goal of understanding how personal experiences and stigma shape and impact understanding and perceptions of the disease. Social media trend analysis has been cited as an effective methodology for flagging, tracking, alerting and educating communities regarding the spread of a disease. The researchers are designing a machine learning tool capable of analyzing the estimated 1.64 billion tweets posted daily by African American Twitter users. 

To see all USF COVID-19 Rapid Response projects visit here.  

To learn more about the USF Pandemic Response Research Network visit here.