Taylor Ray currently serves as a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) at the SSRC, where she works alongside Dr. Sujan Anreddy, and the rest of the interdisciplinary team on the center’s project related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the project seeks to understand negative emotions experienced throughout the pandemic by utilizing sentiment extracted from social media posts across varying platforms (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and others). Additional project goals include analysis of scams that are inherent to and present within social media, especially when misinformation can be used maliciously upon vulnerable groups. Taylor’s major contributions toward the project include tasks such as writing programming scripts to obtain the COVID-related social media data, managing the database used to store retrieved data, aiding in the dissemination of the data to the public, and any other needs that are computational in nature.
Taylor earned a B.S. in Computer Science with a minor in Anthropology (cum laude) at Mississippi State University in 2019. She is now pursuing a M.S. degree in Computer Science with a primary specialization in artificial intelligence and a secondary specialization in data science.