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Exploring human nature through the social web

Free public lecture discusses how online expression and communication is changing how we study human networks 

Philadelphia, PA—The web grows larger and more social every day, allowing ordinary people to express themselves more publicly and permanently than ever before through blogs and social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Foursquare.

Sep Kamvar, LG Career Development Professor of Media Arts and Sciences and director of the Social Computing group at the MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has had more than a decade of experience studying social technology that has emerged from this tremendous growth in public human communication and self-expression on the web.

In a free public lecture organized as part of the Annual Meeting of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) in Chicago next week, Dr. Kamvar will discuss how this technological and accompanying cultural shift offers a great opportunity to study (and organize) people. “The Internet is bursting with people’s documented expression and communication, pictures and videos, all linked to freely available information about their location, time of day, weather, and more,” according to Kamvar.

Sep Kamvar spoke with SIAM about his upcoming community lecture at the SIAM Annual Meeting

“Their words, pictures, and media create mosaics of humanity that provide great opportunities to explore aspects of human nature through the experiences of ordinary people.”

Kamvar will discuss how the changing web suggests new paradigms for search and discovery. By outlining recent projects that use web search to study human nature and vice versa, he will describe the underlying principles behind these projects, and elaborate on how they might inform future work in search, data mining, and social computing.

The I. E. Block Community Lecture, titled “Search and Discovery in Human Networks” will be held Wednesday, July 9, from 6:15 to 7:15 PM at the Palmer House, and will be followed by a community reception. Free and open to the public, the presentation can be enjoyed by anyone with a high school math background—no advanced mathematical background is necessary. Come and discover how the changing web suggests new paradigms for the study of human nature and networks!

I. E. Block Community Lecture: Search and Discovery in Human Networks

Featuring: Sep Kamvar
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

Wednesday, July 9

6:15 PM – 7:15 PM
Grand Ballroom – 4th Floor

Palmer House, Chicago, IL

A reception will follow the lecture.

Free and open to the public!  Please view details here. 

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About SIAM
The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is an international society of over 14,000 individual members, including applied and computational mathematicians and computer scientists, as well as other scientists and engineers. Members from 85 countries are researchers, educators, students, and practitioners in industry, government, laboratories, and academia. The Society, which also includes nearly 500 academic and corporate institutional members, serves and advances the disciplines of applied mathematics and computational science by publishing a variety of books and prestigious peer-reviewed research journals, by conducting conferences, and by hosting activity groups in various areas of mathematics. SIAM provides many opportunities for students including regional sections and student chapters. Further information is available at www.siam.org.

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