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Digital Futures Lecture Series. Leveraging Network Science to Address Grand Societal Challenges

Friday, January 15, 2016
12:00 AM
Room R1240 Ross School of Business

The increased access to big data about social phenomena in general, and network data in particular, has been a windfall for social scientists. But these exciting opportunities must be accompanied with careful reflection on how big data can motivate new theories and methods. Using examples of his research in the area of networks, Contractor will argue that Network Science serves as the foundation to unleash the intellectual insights locked in big data. More importantly, he will illustrate how these insights offer social scientists in general, and social network scholars in particular, an unprecedented opportunity to engage more actively in monitoring, anticipating and designing interventions to address grand societal challenges.

Noshir Contractor is the Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences in the McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science, the School of Communication and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His research looks at factors leading to the formation, maintenance and dissolution of dynamically linked social and knowledge networks in communities. Specifically, his team is working on theories and methods of network science for mapping, understanding and enabling more effective networks in a variety of real-world and virutal contexts.