NCASD Lab alum Chris Marcum has accepted a position at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Marcum will be advising the social network methods group as a methodologist and staff scientist in the intramural research program at the National Human Genome Research Institute. His research will continue to focus on aging, health, and personal networks.
The NCASD Lab was well-represented at this year’s American Sociological Association meeting. Current and former center members presented seven talks at the Joint Japan/North America Mathematical Sociology Meeting held prior to the ASA. Lb members also presented papers at the ASA conference itself. In addition to presenting the group’s own work, Lab PI Butts served as organizer for the three mathematical sociology sessions at the ASA meeting. The members of the NCASD Lab are pleased to be able to contribute to the ongoing vitality of mathematical sociology as a field, both in the US and worldwide.
Lab PI Butts presented new work on the application of spectral theory to feedback centrality scores. Feedback centrality scores are used to measure power, status, and influence in many kinds of networks, and are the basis for applications such as Google’s ranking of web sites. Butts’s work shows how spectral theory can be used to provide a unified understanding of how these measures behave, and to explain when and why very different types of power-related processes sometimes lead to very similar outcomes.
Lab member Emma Spiro presented work on self-disclosure norms on Facebook. A key component of self-presentation is the decision to reveal or conceal information about one’s person or circumstances. The online environment provides a unique opportunity for comparative study of such privacy-related behavior, both because of its relative newness and because of the opportunities it affords for systematic behavioral measurement on a global scale. The project users data from a probability sample of over 1 million Facebook users, in order to relate online privacy awareness behaviors in 217 countries to the social, political, and economic factors that shape the context of social interaction.
Lab member Sean Fitzhugh presented work on developing more efficient link-trace methods for locating subpopulations within a network. Using a sample of nearly 130,000 individuals from data scraped from MeetUp.com, Fitzhugh and coauthors demonstrate the utility of a modified link-trace search they call a preferential link-trace. Not only does it afford substantial efficiency gains over a tradition link-trace search, but it allows for estimation of the total population size and size of the subpopulation of interest. Using the preferential link-trace, they found members associated with the Occupy Wall Street social movement much faster than with conventional link-trace searches.
In recent work, the HEROIC team performed an exploratory analysis of online conversation surrounding the Waldo Canyon fire which started on June 23, 2012, three miles west of Colorado Springs, Colorado. The team looked at Twitter posts by the general public as well as official government emergency management organizations.
A few of the lessons learned from this research include:
- When an event occurs local organization gain large numbers of followers.
- Establishing a social media strategy pre-event is important. Organizations should not judge attention demand for social media during non-event periods.
- Original content tends to be produced by local organizations, while retweeted content tends to come from non-locals
See the online research highlight for more information:
HEROIC PI Jeannette Sutton was a keynote speaker at the American Meteorological Society, Summer Community Meeting on August 15, 2012 in Norman, Oklahoma. She presented “Changing channels: Online Informal Communications, Disaster Warnings, and Public Response” and discussed findings from Project HEROIC research, specifically related to official communication online, citing recent analyses from the Waldo Canyon Fire. Meeting attendees consisted of practitioners, policy makers, academics, and private sector weather technologists. This day-long meeting was dedicated to the discussion of social media use for weather related events. Sutton’s presentation offered an empirical overview of social science knowledge on the uses of social media channels for communication in disaster events.
For more information on the meeting see the agenda.
Project member Emma Spiro will present “Diffusion of Innovation Among Government Organizations: Asymmetric Effects of Organizational Lineage on Social Media Adoption” at the Fifth Joint Japan-North America Mathematical Sociology Conference to be held August6 16, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.
HEROIC PI Jeannette Sutton was mentioned in a article on the recent wildfires near Colorado Springs, Colorado. Sutton presented preliminary analysis of the online response to the wildfire at the Natural Hazards Workshop. Sutton talked about the increase in followers of official sources of information during the event. In addition Sutton presented visuals of the online conversation created by HEROIC member Spiro.
See the article here.
HEROIC PIs Jeannette Sutton and Carter Butts will present research findings at the Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop in Broomfield, Colorado July 14-17, 2012. Sutton and Butts will present a poster highlighting HEROIC research activities. Sutton will also present on a panel specific to the recent Waldo Canyon Wildfire outside Colorado Springs. The fire is the is the most destructive in Colorado history, with 346 homes lost. Sutton will present preliminary findings about the online response and communication activities on Twitter.
NCASD alumnus Miruna Petrescu-Prahova accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Health Services in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington. Congratulations Miruna!
This project is lead by Principal Investigator Cynthia Lakon, Assistant Professor, Program in Public Health, in collaboration with three co-investigators also from UC Irvine: NCASD PI Carter Butts, Departments of Sociology and Statistics, John Hipp, Departments of Criminology Law and Society and Sociology, and David Timberlake, Program in Public Health.
The study will explore why social ties sometimes promote and other times discourage substance use among youth and will also examine what role emotional support, strong emotional ties and peer influence play.
The project also launches the Social Networks & Health Initiative at the Center for Networks & Relational Analysis, which is part of the California Institute for Telecommunications & Information Technology.
For more information see the official press release: here.
The HEROIC team won the Best Social Science Student Paper Award at the Web Science 2012 conference held June 22-24th. Sponsored by Microsoft Research, the award recognized the best student led paper from the social sciences at the conference.
The paper, “Rumoring During Extreme Events: A Case Study of Deepwater Horizon 2010,” looks at informal online conversation in the context of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The full article can be found in the conference proceedings.
Spiro, Emma S., Sutton, Jeannette, Fitzhugh, Sean, Greczek, Matt, Pierski, Nicole, and Butts, Carter T. (2012) “Rumoring During Extreme Events: A Case Study of Deepwater Horizon 2010.” In Proceedings of the ACM Web Science 2012 Conference (WebSci12). Evanston, Illinois.
Proceedings and award announcement can be found at: http://www.websci12.org/