Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

SONIC Hosts Prof. Krackhardt


Professor Krackhardt of Carnegie Mellon guest lectured the Master of Science in Analytic’s class. Krackhard pioneered the concept of “cognitive social structures.” In the lecture, he shared some of his case studies and discussed how an individual’s power can be measured according to his/her position in the whole network structure. He provided network visualizations and demonstrated how they can provide better insights into analyzing an individual’s power.

Contractor mentors young scholars at the 104th Annual NCA Convention


This past weekend at the National Communication Association (NCA) 104th Annual Convention, Contractor provided mentorship during the sessions titled “Scholarly Recess: Professional Development for Students and Junior Scholars” for the Group Communication Division and “Pursuing Grant-Funded Research in Communication: Challenges and Opportunities across the Discipline.” He also served as a respondent for the Top Papers session for the Group Communication Division.

Alina presents at the NCA 104th Annual Convention


Alina presented the paper, “Deep Space Collaboration: Impact of Communication Latency on Collaborative Work” at the NCA 104th Annual Convention in Salt Lake City, UT. Citation: Lungeanu, A., Park, P., DeChurch, L. A., & Contractor, N. S. (2018, November). Deep Space Collaboration: Impact of Latency and Social Networks on Collaborative Work. Paper presented at the NCA 104th Annual Convention, Salt Lake City, UT.

How algorithmic popularity bias hinders or promotes quality


By Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia, Azadeh Nematzadeh, Filippo Menczer & Alessandro Flammini Algorithms that favor popular items are used to help us select among many choices, from top-ranked search engine results to highly-cited scientific papers. The goal of these algorithms is to identify high-quality items such as reliable news, credible information sources, and important discoveries–in short, high-quality content should rank at the top. Prior work has shown that choosing what is popular may amplify random fluctuations and lead to sub-optimal rankings. Nonetheless, it is often assumed that recommending what is popular will help high-quality content “bubble up” in practice. Here we identify the conditions in which popularity may be a viable proxy for quality content by studying a simple model of a cultural market endowed with an intrinsic notion of quality. A parameter representing the cognitive cost of exploration controls the trade-off between quality and popularity. Below and above a critical exploration cost, popularity bias is more likely to hinder quality. But we find a narrow intermediate regime of user attention where an optimal balance exists: choosing what is popular can help promote high-quality items to the top. These findings clarify the ...

Alina joins Network Science Institute as visiting faculty


Research Assistant Professor Alina Lungeanu joins Network Science Institute at Northeastern University, Boston MA as visiting faculty starting Fall 2018. Congratulations Alina! Link:

9th ANN / SONIC / NICO Network Theory Workshop – Success


This past weekend over 35 scholars at leading-edge brain science and social network gathered for the 9th annual ANN-SONIC-NICO Network Theory Workshop under the theme of “Brain Science and Social Networks.” The workshop was held at Northwestern’s Kellogg Global Hub and sponsored by the Annenberg Networks Network (ANN), Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC), Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO), and the Army Research Office (ARO). Details about the workshop can be found at: Website:​ Conference presentation videos and slides will be available on the website shortly. The conference organizers would like to thank all the speakers and participants for their attendance.

Contractor publishes in @HarvardBiz


Noshir Contractor along with SONIC Affiliated Faculty, Paul Leonardi, publish, “Better People Analytics – Measure who they know, not just who they are ” in Harvard Business Review.   Citation: Leonardi, P., & Contractor, N. S. (2018, Nov-Dec). Better People Analytics: Measure who they know, not just who they are. Harvard Business Review.  

Diego presents at MESO in Buenos Aires


Diego presents the paper, “How can we assemble better interdisciplinary teams? The ‘My Dream Team’ experience at the Universidad of Buenos Aires” at the MESO Conference titled, “Contemporary Developments on Media, Culture and Society: Argentian and America Latina,” in Buenos Aires, Argentina.   Citation: Gómez-Zará, D., Andreoli, S., DeChurch, L., and Contractor, N. (2018). “How can we assemble better interdisciplinary teams? The “My Dream Team” experience at the Universidad of Buenos Aires.” MESO Conference  “Contemporary Developments on Media, Culture and Society: Argentina and America Latina”, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Noshir Contractor presents at Inaugural Case Workshop on Digital Innovation


On Thursday, October 18th, Noshir Contractor will present, “Inhaling digital exhaust data from Enterprise Social Media to understand and enable teaming,” a paper with Paul Leonardi (UC Santa Barbara), Leslie DeChurch, and SONIC alum Jackie Ng (Harvard Business School) at The Inaugural Case Workshop on Digital Innovation at Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH. The workshop will gather an interdisciplinary community to spark ideas that will draw out the implications of digital innovation for customers and markets, organizations, industries as well as the broader economy and society. Link:

Noshir Contractor presents at Amazon


Noshir Contractor presented research on teams going into isolated (space) environments, titled “Social isolation: A challenge in and out of this world.”  at an invitational workshop organized by Amazon on October 17 in Seattle titled “All Boats Rise? Social Capital, Promise and Peril” in a session titled “No One is an (I) Land.”