Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Phillip Womble (Director), Keith Andrew, Lance Hahn

Degree Program

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Degree Type

Master of Science


With the ever expanding usage of social media websites such as Twitter, it is possible to use statistical inquires to form a geographic location of a person using solely the content of their tweets. According to a study done in 2010, Zhiyuan Cheng, was able to detect a location of a Twitter user within 100 miles of their actual location 51% of the time. While this may seem like an already significant find, this study was done while Twitter was still finding its ground to stand on. In 2010, Twitter had 75 million unique users registered, as of March 2013, Twitter has around 500 million unique users. In this thesis, my own dataset was collected and using Excel macros, a comparison of my results to that of Cheng’s will see if the results have changed over the three years since his study. If found to be that Cheng’s 51% can be shown more efficiently using a simpler methodology, this could have a significant impact on Homeland Security and cyber security measures.


Communication Technology and New Media | OS and Networks | Software Engineering | Theory and Algorithms