Fortunato elected Fellow of the American Physical Society

Santo Fortunato has been elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) for foundational contributions to the statistical physics of complex networks, and particularly to the study of community detection in networks and applications to social and scientific networks. The Fellowship is awarded annually to no more than one half of one percent of members of the APS for exceptional contributions to physics through research or publications, important applications of physics, leadership and physics education. Check the official press release of the school!


New postdoc position 2023

The Observatory on Social Media at Indiana University, Bloomington invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellow position. The anticipated start date is January 1, 2023. The position is initially for 12 months and can be renewed for up to 24 additional months, depending on performance and funds availability. The Fellow will work with Filippo Menczer and collaborators at IU and other universities on sponsored research related to modeling the spread of harmful misinformation on social media.

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New paper in Nature Physics

In 2002 the paper Community structure in social and biological networks, by Michelle Girvan and Mark E. J. Newman, marked the beginning of network community detection, possibly the most popular topic in network science, which tackles the problem of automatically discovering communities — groups of nodes of the network that are strongly connected or that share similar features or roles.

Twenty years later, it’s time to see how the field is doing. In the Comment 20 years of network community detection, just published in Nature Physics, Santo Fortunato and Mark Newman present a brief overview of this fascinating topic and highlight future directions.

Fortunato elected Fellow of the Network Science Society

Santo Fortunato has been elected Fellow of the Network Science Society (NSS) for seminal work in network community structure leading to advances in multiresolution approaches and validation, and for contributions to disseminating network science. The Fellowship is awarded annually to members of the community for their exceptional lifelong individual contributions to any area of network science research and to the community of network scientists, both locally and globally. The award has been announced at NetSci 2022, the flagship event of the NSS. Fortunato is the first member of Luddy to receive this prestigious recognition. Check the official press release of the school!

Networks Tool Visualization

New network visualization tool maps information spread

Today the Observatory on Social Media and CNetS launched a revamped research tool to give journalists, other researchers, and the public a broad view of what’s happening on social media. The tool helps overcome some of the biggest challenges of interpreting information flow online, which is often difficult to understand because it’s so fast-paced and experienced from the perspective of an individual account’s newsfeed.

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Luddy AI Center

We’re moving and hiring!

We have two big announcements! First, CNetS (along with IUNI and OSoMe) is moving to the new Luddy Center for Artificial Intelligence. Second, we have a new tenure-track assistant professor position in Artificial Intelligence and Network Science. We welcome any candidates who study AI, complex systems, and network science (all broadly defined). Potential research areas include, but are not limited to, deep learning, graph neural networks, complex systems, complex networks, computational neuroscience, computational social science, social media analytics, agent-based models, and the impacts of AI and social media on society.  We especially welcome applications from members of underrepresented groups in computing. More info and application here!

New grant on optimization problems in complex networks

The US Air Force Office of Scientific Research has awarded the grant Algorithmic and theoretical approaches to optimization problems on complex networks to CNetS faculty Filippo Radicchi. The project will study different classes of optimization problems (OPs) on complex networks, including optimal percolation, optimal sampling, optimal navigation, and optimal seeding. The research will address the practical, algorithmic and theoretical aspects of the OPs, focusing on the generalization of the problem settings to realistic scenarios, the development of numerical techniques for the solution of the OPs, and the establishment of analytical baselines for the objective assessment of the performance of the optimization algorithms.

The total budget of the award is 450,000 USD, the project’s duration is three years.

drifter bots

Probing political bias on Twitter with drifter bots

Our latest paper “Neutral bots probe political bias on social media” by Wen Chen, Diogo Pacheco, Kai-Cheng Yang & Fil Menczer just came out in Nature Communications. We find strong evidence of political bias on Twitter, but not as many think: (1) it is conservative rather than liberal bias, and (2) it results from user interactions (and abuse) rather than platform algorithms. We tracked neutral “drifter” bots to probe political biases. In the figure, we see the drifters in yellow and a sample of their friends and followers colored according to political alignment. Large nodes are accounts sharing a lot of low-credibility links.

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