Lab alumna Liana Landivar, formerly statistician at the US Department of the Census, has now accepted a position as survey statistician at the National Science Foundation. In her capacity at the Census, Landivar played a key role in managing the Census’s measurement and categorization of occupations – a complex task that supplies vital information on the health of the US economy and labor force for use by government, industry, and research entities. She was also active in helping to craft Federal guidelines for determining the occupations considered to be part of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field. At NSF, Landivar will be leveraging her experience and expertise with occupations to help study the evolution of America’s science and technology labor force, including the changing demographics of workers in STEM fields. Her work there will provide insights to inform science and education policy, and to better assess occupational fields that are central to US competitiveness and economic growth.
NCASD lab members Butts and Zhang, in collaboration with Alfredo Freites and the Martin lab (UCI Chemistry and MB&B) are pleased to announce two forthcoming papers on the genome of the Cape sundew (Drosera Capensis), a widely cultivated carnivorous plant. The team’s sequencing of D. Capensis marks the first published genome in the family Caryophyllales, and the third carnivorous plant to be sequenced. In their forthcoming work, Butts, Martin, and colleagues identify and model a large number of novel proteases from the Capensis genome, identifying promising targets for biotechnological applications such as the preparation of samples for mass spectrometry or attacking bacterial biofilms on sensitive medical devices. The team has also identified a new “enzyme within an enzyme” with potential uses as an antifungal agent. In the spirit of UCI’s growing commitment to convergnce science, this research fuses state-of-the-art computational methods (including structure prediction, docking, and molecular dynamics), methods adapted from social network analysis, and traditional genomic and biophysical techniques to move from genomic “source code” to useful biomolecules in a fraction of the time and cost of conventional approaches. The team’s work is forthcoming at Proteins and the Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal.
Lab alum Sean Fitzhugh, along with lab member Ben Gibson, lab alum Emma Spiro, and lab PI Carter Butts, have published their article “Spatio-temporal Filtering Techniques for the Detection of Disaster-related Communication” in an upcoming special issue of Social Science Research on big data. This paper develops a family of techniques for filtering large streams of communication across time and space in order to detect signals of hazard-related rumoring. They reliably detect signal of rumoring activity across a variety of disasters affecting a wide range of populations, from dense urban areas to sparse rural areas. The results highlight spatio-temporal variation of rumoring activity in response to impending and realized disasters. Additionally, they illustrate a case study of how message content varies across time and space during a disaster.
The article can be found online here.
Zack Almquist, lab alumni and assistant professor at the University of Minnesota, has recently been recognized as one of the top 50 graduate and postdoc alumni from UCI for its 50th year celebration. Selected nominees represent five decades of graduate program impact and some of our most successful graduate and postdoctoral scholar alumni. Congratulations, Zack!
Lab alum Christopher Marcum was the recipient of the Matilda White Riley Early Stage Investigator Honors from the NIH, a paper competition for Early Stage Investigators. The selected paper, which is on triadic models of intergenerational exchanges, was co-authored Laura Koehly and published in Advances in Life Course Research last year. Visit here to learn more about this recognition. Congratulations, Chris!
A HEROIC-funded paper entitled “A cross-hazard analysis of terse message retransmission on Twitter” was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) last week. This research provides the first systematic study of the factors predicting the social amplification of risk communication in OSNs by examining the retransmission of official messages across five hazards. Our findings demonstrate the respective impacts of sender characteristics, message content, and message style in determining whether an official message will be passed on during an emergency, as well whether these vary across hazards. These results contribute to the evidence base for policies guiding the delivery by emergency management organizations of lifesaving information to the public.
We are excited to announce the kick-off of a new NSF funded effort by researchers at the University of Kentucky and the University of California-Irvine to better understand the dynamics of informal online communication in response to extreme events. Through a combination of data collection and modeling of conversation dynamics, the project team aims to understand the relationship between hazard events, informal communication and emergency response. The Project HEROIC Data Consortium is to be created to further the goals of this project and provide infrastructure for future data collection and analysis related to informal online communication and emergency response.
Lab member Sean Fitzhugh and PI Carter Butts published an article “A Life History Graph Approach to the Analysis and Comparison of Life Histories,” in an upcoming issue of Advances in Life Course Research. In this paper they develop a network representation of life histories, where each spell is a node and edges represent temporal overlap among spells. This enables systematic representation and comparison of life histories within and across populations, as well as insight into individual life histories through social network analysis. They identify the primary sources of differentiation across life histories using data from the United States, Vietnam, England, and China.
The article can be found online here.
Sean Fitzhugh has accepted a position as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the US Army Research Laboratory, where he will use network analysis to study the performance of task-oriented groups. Congratulations, Sean!
As part of their annual conference, on March 10 the Corporation for Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) visited the various labs housed in Calit2. The NCASD lab created posters for the event, highlighting many of our projects, including work involving Twitter, sexual contact networks, chemical shift prediction, and the American Social Fabric Project. The visitors from CENIC were very enthusiastic about our work!