2013 LTS Lecture Series: "The Complex Network of Social Media" by Dr. William Rand

Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:00 PM

Location: LTS Auditorium, Laboratory for Telecommunications Sciences, 8080 Greenmead Drive, College Park, MD 20740

The dramatic feature of social media is that it gives everyone a voice; anyone can speak out and express their opinion to a crowd of followers with little or no cost or effort, which creates a loud and potentially overwhelming marketplace of ideas. The good news is that the organizations have more data than ever about what their consumers are saying about their brand. The bad news is that this huge amount of data is difficult to sift through. We will look at developing methods that can help sift through this torrent of data and examine important questions, such as who do users trust to provide them with the information that they want? Which entities have the greatest influence on social media users? Using agent-based modeling, machine learning and network analysis we begin to examine and shed light on these questions and develop a deeper understanding of the complex system of social media.

William Rand is an assistant professor of Marketing and a member of the faculty of the University of Maryland's Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. He examines the use of computational modeling techniques, like agent-based modeling, GIS, SNA, and machine learning, to analyze complex systems. He serves as the Director of the Center for Complexity in Business, the first center focused solely on the application of complex systems techniques to business and management science. He received his doctorate in Computer Science from the University of Michigan, and was awarded a postdoctoral research fellowship at Northwestern University in the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO).