Nitin Agarwal is a millennial, born in Delhi, India, who grew up with personal computers and the internet. It was the limitless possibilities of applications and evolution in social behavior that intrigued him from the beginning and led to his first computer programs. He still treasures the five-and-quarter inch floppy disks that store the computer programs he wrote during his childhood days. Following his passion, he eagerly took the opportunity to study information technology at the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), and received his bachelor’s degree in IT. He came to the U.S. to further his quest for answers, and landed in the middle of the desert, at Arizona State.
Web 2.0 was just a buzzword, until the emergence of blogs and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube changed the Internet forever. Dr. Agarwal continued pursuing his passion for Internet, big data, online social behaviors, machine learning and AI. His doctoral dissertation “Social Computing in Blogosphere” was recognized as outstanding.
Through the visionary leadership of EIT Dean Mary Good, he was offered the flexibility to expand social computing research and establish it as a discipline at UA Little Rock. He developed courses and a research program on social computing, established a research group called the Collaboratorium for Social Media and Online Behavioral Studies (COSMOS) and received early tenure and dual promotions to Associate Professorship and the Jerry L. Maulden-Entergy Endowed Chair Professorship. At COSMOS, he manages projects funded by over $10 million from an array of federal agencies and plays a significant role in the long term partnership between UALR and the Department of Homeland Security. He developed publicly available software tools, used by NATO, among others. He participates in the Tech Innovation Hub launched by the U.S. Department of State’s Global Engagement Center to defeat foreign-based propaganda. His research contributes to global society by studying real-world issues, such as Saudi women’s rights, Autism awareness, ISIS radicalization, and anti-West disinformation campaigns.
Dr. Agarwal has published 8 books and 150+ peer-reviewed articles that have been recognized with several best publication awards. His work has been extensively covered by local, national, and international media. He participates in many national and international forums, including major global defense venues. Dr. Agarwal serves as technical advisor to Little Rock-based firms, including through the FinTech Accelerator.