Author Archive

SONIC presented at the Northwestern MTS and TSB graduate recruitment event


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


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)


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.

Research networks ‘more important’ for female scientists


Study finds a stronger correlation for women between success and being central to a network Being well connected is more important for women who want to get ahead in science than men, a study suggests. By analyzing how patterns of research collaboration relate to scientific outcomes, US statisticians found that highly cited female scientists at top US universities tended to be very prominent within their research networks. However, the same was not true for highly cited male scientists, who are generally less central to the larger academic networks they participated in, according to the paper by Charisse Madlock-Brown, from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and David Eichmann, from the University of Iowa. The article, “The Scientometrics of Successful Women in Science”, was published recently online by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Read the full article here.

Noshir Contractor presented in a colloquium at Stanford University, CA


On February 13, 2017 Noshir Contractor presented on Bridging the Boundary, while Minding the Seams: Boundary Propensities in Multiteam Systems in a colloquium held at the Center for Work, Technology, and Organization, Management Science & Engineering, Stanford University, CA.

An Ivy League professor says there are only three types of friendships we make


Friendship isn’t always as serendipitous as it might feel. Are you a “tight-knitter”, a “compartmentalizer,” or a “sampler”? According to Dartmouth sociology professor Janice McCabe, whose study of the effects of social connections on academic performance was published this month in the journal Contexts, when forming new friendships, people tend to follow one of these three patterns. McCabe used mathematical models to examine the friendship structures of 67 students on a Midwestern college campus, aiming to figure out how those structures influenced success in the classroom. Read the full article here.

SONIC and ATLAS members will be attending the 2017 NASA Investigators’ Workshop in Galveston, TX


SONIC and ATLAS members: eight graduate students, one undergraduate researcher, and two post-doctoral researchers will be attending the NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop in Galveston, TX from January 23rd – January 26th. Our team is presenting six posters. Patrick Park: Understanding Elective Task Switching Ashley Niler:  Impact of Social Connectedness, Communication Delay, and Sleep Deprivation on Cognitive Network Similarity in Analog Teams Zach Gibson: Building Extreme Teams: Simulating team Composition Effects in Isolated and Confined Environments Ilya Gokhman: Leadership Networks in Space Crews Igor Zakhlebin Influence of Interpersonal Perceptions on Team Structure in Long-Duration Space Exploration Missions Gabe Plummer: The Costs of Switching Between Team and Multiteam Tasks and The Role of Shared Cognition  

SONIC PhD candidate Aaron Schecter and Noshir Contractor presented at the Network Science of Squads Workshop


On Sunday, December 4th, a SONIC PhD candidate Aaron Schecter and Professor Noshir Contractor presented at a workshop titled “The Network Science of Squads“, held in Denton, TX on December 3rd – 5th. An illustration of the relational event model to analyze group interaction processes Abstract A fundamental assumption in the study of groups is that they are constituted by various interaction processes that are critical to survival, success, and failure. However, there are few methods available sophisticated enough to empirically analyze group interaction. To address this issue, we present an illustration of relational event modeling (REM). A relational event is a “discrete event generated by a social actor and directed toward one or more targets.” Because REM provides a procedure for modeling relational event histories, it has the ability figure out which patterns of group interaction are more or less common than others. For instance, do past patterns of interaction influence future interactions, (e.g., reciprocity), do individual attributes make it more likely that individuals will create interactions (e.g., homophily), and do specific contextual factors influence interaction patterns (e.g., a complexity of a task)? The current presentation provides an REM tutorial from a multi-team system experiment in which two teams navigated a terrain ...

Noshir Contractor gives a keynote address at the 3rd GESIS Computational Social Science Winter Symposium


On December 1st, 2016, Noshir Contractor presented on Leveraging Computational Social Science to Address Grand Societal Challenges. The symposium, titled “Understanding social systems via computational approaches and new kinds of data”, took place from November 30 – December 1, 2016 at KOMED im MediaPark, Cologne, Germany The complete schedule of presentations and Noshir’s talk abstract can be viewed following the link below:

How Facebook Saw Trump Coming When No One Else Did


As the electoral map turned crimson this evening, everyone exclaimed that the data and polls had not seen this coming. They were only partly right. At least one overlooked data source had made a very strong suggestion that Donald Trump enjoyed an unquantified current of popular support. Read the full article here