Author Archive

ANN-SONIC 8th International Workshop on Network Theory, 2017

24
Mar

This year, the 8th ANN-SONIC International Workshop on Network Theory is held at the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, CA. This year’s theme is “Wisdom in Networks” Twitter #WisdomNetwork You can view the workshop program by following this link. The program lists the speakers, the participants, and the complete workshop schedule.   Selected SONIC and ATLAS members are attending the workshop March 23-24th. The workshop is being organized by the Annenberg Networks Network (ANN) at the University of Southern California, the Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) research group, and the Advancing Teams, Leaders and Systems (ATLAS) research group at the Northwestern University.

Noshir Contractor appointed as a member of Decadal Survey of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Applications to National Security Committee

22
Mar

This new project will carry out a decadal survey on the social and behavioral  sciences (SBS) in areas relevant to national security. The survey will identify opportunities that are poised to contribute significantly to the intelligence community’s analytic responsibilities. Please follow the link for the full statement of task. This project kicked-off with a national summit that was held on October 4-5, 2016. The first meeting for the Decadal Survey of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Applications to National Security will be held March 23 – March 24, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Noshir Contractor appointed as a member of Decadal Survey of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Applications to National Security Committee

22
Mar

This new project will carry out a decadal survey on the social and behavioral  sciences (SBS) in areas relevant to national security. The survey will identify opportunities that are poised to contribute significantly to the intelligence community’s analytic responsibilities. Please follow the link for the full statement of task. This project kicked-off with a national summit that was held on October 4-5, 2016. The first meeting for the Decadal Survey of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Applications to National Security will be held March 23 – March 24, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Noshir Contractor presented at a CITEP conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina

20
Mar

On March 13th Nosir Contractor presented at a conference titled “Assembly required. Organizing in the 21st century”. The conference was organized by the Center of Technological and Pedagogical Innovation (CITEP – Centro de Innovación en Tecnología y Pedagogía) of the University of Buenos Aires in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Noshir delivered on creating effective teams and demonstrated “MyDreamTeam”, a web-based teaming platform used to understand and facilitate the formation of teams in educational contexts.

Eric Forbush, a former SONIC member, was awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

20
Mar

Congratulations to Eric Forbush, former SONIC Lab Manager and a post-baccalaureate researcher! Eric is now a graduate student at PENN, studying towards his PhD at the Annenberg School of Communication. For the 2017 competition, NSF received over 13,000 applications, and made 2,000 award offers. We are proud of Eric for having received this prestigious award!

Global patterns of synchronization in human communications

17
Mar

by Alfredo J. Morales, Vaibhav Vavilala, Rosa M. Benito, Yaneer Bar-Yam Social media are transforming global communication and coordination and provide unprecedented opportunities for studying socio-technical domains. Here we study global dynamical patterns of communication on Twitter across many scales. Underlying the observed patterns is both the diurnal rotation of the Earth, day and night, and the synchrony required for contingency of actions between individuals. We find that urban areas show a cyclic contraction and expansion that resembles heartbeats linked to social rather than natural cycles. Different urban areas have characteristic signatures of daily collective activities. We show that the differences detected are consistent with a new emergent global synchrony that couples behaviour in distant regions across the world. Although local synchrony is the major force that shapes the collective behaviour in cities, a larger-scale synchronization is beginning to occur. Read the full article here.

Snap: Rewriting ‘Art of War’ for social networking — by not documenting anything

03
Mar

Social networks may be the most valuable and durable types of businesses powered by “network effects,” the phenomenon of products or services becoming more powerful the more people use them. The social-networking companies in our recently launched Network Effect Index — a group of current and formerly public consumer-Web companies valued at $1 billion or more — outperformed the S&P by over 170 percent in the last five years, the most of any business category in the index. This is one reason the imminent IPO of social/mobile app Snap, which thrives on network effects, is being so closely watched. Another is that Snap — the parent of the ragingly popular Snapchat service, and a company expected to be valued at roughly $20 billion at its offering — represents the first credible threat to the Facebook social-networking colossus. Interestingly, Snap has grown by following a path very different than Facebook’s — so much so that we believe Snap ultimately could be valued less like a traditional social network and more like a hardware-software company, like Apple, or a media business, like Comcast. Read the full article here.

SONIC presented at the Northwestern MTS and TSB graduate recruitment event

01
Mar

SONIC is always committed to attracting great people to work with us. These weeks are busy with graduate recruitment events, as the applicants for the next academic year are making the final decisions about where to pursue their graduate studies. We presented four posters in the Frances Searle Building at the School of Communication recruitment showcase for the Media, Technology, and Society (MTS) and the Technology and Social Behavior (TSB) Ph.D. programs. SONIC exhibited four projects: Network Cognition; Text Analytics for Evaluated Shared Cognition; on finding a Dream Team; and using simulations to explore team composition and functioning. Our ATLAS collaborators displayed three posters on their projects exploring leadership, team cognition, and multi-team systems.

Mathematical Model Reveals the Patterns of How Innovations Arise

24
Feb

The work could lead to a new approach to the study of what is possible, and how it follows from what already exists. Innovation is one of the driving forces in our world. The constant creation of new ideas and their transformation into technologies and products forms a powerful cornerstone for 21st century society. Indeed, many universities and institutes, along with regions such as Silicon Valley, cultivate this process. And yet the process of innovation is something of a mystery. A wide range of researchers have studied it, ranging from economists and anthropologists to evolutionary biologists and engineers. Their goal is to understand how innovation happens and the factors that drive it so that they can optimize conditions for future innovation. This approach has had limited success, however. The rate at which innovations appear and disappear has been carefully measured. It follows a set of well-characterized patterns that scientists observe in many different circumstances. And yet, nobody has been able to explain how this pattern arises or why it governs innovation. Read the complete article here. You can see the published paper here.

Noshir Contractor presented at the Prevention Science Methodology Group (PSMG)

22
Feb

On February 21, 2017, Noshir presented on “Testing Multitheoretical, Multilevel Hypotheses about Networks” at the Prevention Science Methodology Group (PSMG) – a weekly “virtual” grand rounds presentations that takes place via recorded conference calls, accompanied by slides.