Xinru is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Political Science and International Relations (POIR) program at University of Southern California, and will join CISAC as a Postdoctoral Fellow for 2019-2020. Originally from China, Xinru is interested in combining formal modeling and computational social science with research on nationalist protests and maritime disputes, with a regional focus on East and Southeast Asia. Her research is informed by extensive field research in Vietnam, Philippines and China, during which she interviewed protestors, think tanks, diplomats, government officials, and foreign business owners that were impacted by nationalist protests. In addition to informing her of the complicated strategic interaction between mass mobilization, government repression and foreign policy-making, the field research further motivated her to focus on the methodological challenges for causal inference that stem from strategic conflict behavior. More broadly, Xinru is interested in public opinion and new methods of measuring it, foreign policy formation, alliance politics, East Asian security dynamics, and the historical relations of East Asia.