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Hi, I am Yongchao

Yongchao Ma

Ph.D. Student at University of Michigan

I am a Ph.D. student in Survey and Data Science in the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research on the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor campus. I am also a maintainer of ASReview LAB, an open-source AI-based research software.



Maintainer Feb 2020 - Present

For many tasks—including but not limited to systematic reviews and meta-analyses—scholars, medical doctors, journalists, and policymakers currently screen thousands of texts (e.g., scientific literature, newspapers) by hand to determine relevant texts to include in their review or meta-analysis. The Active learning for Systematic Reviews (ASReview) project, published in Nature Machine Intelligence, implements machine learning algorithms that interactively query the researcher to accelerate the screening of textual data as efficiently and transparently as possible. Downloads

ASReview Wordcloud
ASReview Wordcloud
Maintainer Jan 2021 - Apr 2021

When using ASReview to screen titles and abstracts in a systematic review, wordclouds can visualize the words that are used the most within the titles and/or abstracts. The package also allows to create wordclouds for the relevant inclusions only. Downloads

Optimal Stratification in Bayesian Adaptive Survey Design
Intern Methodologist Sep 2020 - Jul 2021

To collect quality survey data within budget, a growing number of survey designs are adapting data collection strategies for different members of the target population. Stratification of the population into subgroups is a crucial choice for determining the optimal adaptive survey design. For addressing nonresponse bias, this paper presents an approach that stratifies the target population into subgroups based on survey variables of interest predicted by the available auxiliary data such as population registers.


Ph.D. in Survey and Data Science
M.S.Sc. in Criminology and Criminal Justice (With Great Distinction)
CGPA: 3.88 out of 4
Exchange, Computational Social Science


Graduate Student Research Assistant
University of Michigan Institute for Social Research

Aug 2022 - Present, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

UM-ISR is the world’s largest academic social science survey and research organization.

  • Design a daily web survey on time-varying cannabis use motives to inform adaptive interventions
  • Analyze temporal changes in motives and implications for adverse health outcomes by Random Intercept Latent Transition Analysis (RI-LTA) using Mplus
  • Report results to provide practitioners with actionable clinical strategies

Utrecht University

Feb 2020 - Jul 2022, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Research Engineer

Aug 2021 - Jul 2022

  • Design user interfaces for ASReview LAB, an AI-based open-source software, using Material Design
  • Build user interfaces using ReactJS and develop REST APIs for communication with Python servers
  • Write documentation for collaborating with developers and instructing users
  • Evaluate and improve the user experience by communicating with users on GitHub
  • Release the first stable version and volunteer as a maintainer after leaving the organization
Graduate Student Research Assistant

Feb 2020 - Jul 2021

  • Wrangle metadata for systematic review datasets using Python in Jupyter Notebook
  • Visualize keywords in titles and abstracts by developing word clouds using Python
  • Trained in front-end development using ReactJS and back-end development using Python Flask

Intern Survey Methodologist
Statistics Netherlands

Sep 2020 - Jul 2021, The Hague, The Netherlands

Dutch governmental institution that gathers statistical information about the Netherlands.

  • Address nonresponse bias within limited budgets by optimizing Bayesian adaptive survey designs
  • Program and solve the optimization problem in R to find the optimal survey data collection strategy
  • Report effectiveness to researchers and provide operational advice to survey practitioners


2023 Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR) Student Fellowship

2018 Outgoing Exchange Scholarship from the University of Macau