Jeff Hemsley

Associate Professor
311 Hinds Hall
Phone: 315.443.3409
Jeff Hemsley

Jeff Hemsley is an Associate Professor at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. He is co-author of the book Going Viral (Polity Press, 2013 and winner of ASIS&T Best Science Books of 2014 Information award and selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2014), which explains what virality is, how it works technologically and socially, and draws out the implications of this process for social change. You can see Jeff talk about researching viral events on YouTube. You can also see his Benefunder Profile.

Jeff earned his Ph.D. from the University of Washington’s Information School, where he was a founding member of the Social Media Lab at the University of Washington. The lab received RAPID and INSPIRE awards from NSF, an Amazon Web Services in Education research grant award, and a gift from Microsoft Research. His research has appeared in journals like Policy & Internet, American Behavioral Scientist and the Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce.

Currently, Jeff teaches Information Visualization to amazing, dedicated and creative graduate students at the iSchool!

You can find Jeff on Twitter @JeffHemsleyLinkedIn and Google Scholarhere.


My research is about understanding how information flows on social media, the ways in which some people have more influence over those flows than other people, and the ways that information flows manifest differently on different kinds of social media sites. I draw on theories and concepts like information gatekeeping, personal influence, and viral events. I use exploratory data analysis (data visualization techniques), inferential statistics, social network analysis and content analysis to answer my questions.

View Experts@Syracuse Profile


Before entering academia, Jeff spent 15 years in the software industry as a Software Test Engineer and QA Manager at companies like Autodesk and Symantec.


IST 421 – Information Visualization

IST 719 – Information Visualization

IST 737 – Visual Analytic Dashboards

IST 790 – Theories of Information