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SOCIAL NETWORKS THEORIES & METHODS

June 22-24, 2020

SOCIAL NETWORKS THEORIES & METHODS

Track 2

Session 1

Course Description

This workshop will provide an introduction overviewing the development of social network research starting with its intellectual origins and culminating with its recent ascendance as one of the most innovative approaches being adopted by social scientists. We begin with descriptive analytics defining various properties of a network: its nodes and relations, metrics to describe individual nodes in a network, and metrics to describe parts of and/or the whole network. We provide a multitheoretical multilevel (MTML) model to explain how social networks form - and how they perform. We introduce a suite of recently developed predictive analytic tools to better understand the emergence and consequences of network formation. Specifically, this session will provide a brief overview of Exponential Random Graph Models (ERGMs), Stochastic Actor Oriented Models (SAOM), Relational Event Models (REM), and Auto-logistic Actor Attribute Models (ALAAMs).

Instructors

Alina Lungeanu

Northwestern University

Noshir Contractor

Northwestern University

Student preparation

None.

About the instructors

Alina Lungeanu

Alina Lungeanu is a Research Assistant Professor in the School of Communication at Northwestern University and a member of the Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) research group. Her work focuses on two key aspects of collaboration in interdisciplinary scientific teams: (1) the social dynamics of such collaboration and (2) the impact of the collaboration on innovation. Alina uses computational social science approaches including advanced social network analytic techniques, agent-based modeling, and text analytics, to examine the role of individual/team characteristics and social networks in both innovation and the evolution of scientific fields. Her work has spanned scientific fields such as Oncofertility and Implementation Science, and has focused on areas including the effects of NSF grant-funding and the research-advancement efforts of the NIH Clinical & Translational Science Centers. Recently, Alina has started working on examining the collaboration challenges in space teams training for missions to Mars. She received her PhD in Technology and Social Behavior from the School of Communication & McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University.

Noshir Contractor

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, USA. He is the Director of the Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Research Group at Northwestern University. He is investigating factors that lead to the formation, maintenance, and dissolution of dynamically linked social and knowledge networks in a wide variety of contexts including communities of practice in business, translational science and engineering communities, public health networks and virtual worlds. His research program has been funded continuously for over 20 years by major grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation with additional funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), NASA, DARPA, Air Force Research Lab, Army Research Institute, Army Research Laboratory, Army Research Office, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation.

Professor Contractor has published or presented over 250 research papers dealing with communicating and organizing. He has been at the intellectual and institutional forefront of three emerging interdisciplines: network science, computational social science and web science. His book titled Theories of Communication Networks (co-authored with Professor Peter Monge and published by Oxford University Press, and translated into simplified Chinese in 2009) received the 2003 Book of the Year award from the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association. In 2014 he received the National Communication Association Distinguished Scholar Award recognizing a lifetime of scholarly achievement in the study of human communication. In 2015 he was elected as a Fellow of the International Communication Association. In 2018 he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. He received a Ph.D. from the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California.