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Signal Theory in Education

The eight Ivy League universities are among the oldest and the most prestigious institutions in the world. They are renowned for their academic excellence, highly selective admission process, and extensive academic and career opportunities for students. One might think that there are more than 26,000 higher education institutions worldwide, and is it really the case that […]

Power Laws and Zipf’s Law in Quantitative Linguistics

A recurring pattern that is observed while quantifying popularity in many different domains is that of power laws. The “Networks, Crowds, and Markets” textbook, for instance, provides a few examples that illustrate the recurrence of power laws outside of the context of web pages. One is that the fraction of telephone numbers that receive k […]

The age of zero tolerance

https://www.ft.com/content/6973e6d6-d047-11e7-9dbb-291a884dd8c6 Gillian Tett details the revolution against sexual assault and harassment taking place in Trump’s America. 2017 is a time of uprising, speaking out, and being courageous. Tett begins the peice highlighting prominent politicians and media figures who have been placed in the spotlight for allegedly committing sexual assault/harassment. Tett suggests that the trend of […]

Social Media and Information Cascades

In the age of technology and social media, social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and many others have gained popularity. Many people have accounts on different sites, each with a different network. Users can post on their feeds and timelines and can reach a large audience. One of the defining features of social media […]

The Game Theory behind Lock Screen Ads

Recently, Google has announced a new policy for its Play Store: “Unless the exclusive purpose of the app is that of a lock screen, apps may not introduce ads or features that monetize the locked display of a device” (source: http://www.androidpolice.com/2017/11/30/google-finally-bans-apps-include-shady-lock-screen-ads/). While this change seems very straight-forward and trivial, that Google is just trying to […]

Information Cascades on Twitter

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.299.8817&rep=rep1&type=pdf https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/20/business/media/how-fake-news-spreads.html   This paper analyzes how Twitter can produce information cascades within its user base. Social media networks are meant to serve as a medium for bidirectional communication between friends, companies, and media outlets, however, due to the nature of how Twitter works, one directional communication has become more common, even more so during […]

ICOs and the Information Cascade

As the value of bitcoin soars to an all-time high, initial coin offerings (ICO) are becoming more desirable for entrepreneurs and investors. For startups, ICOs provide an alternative route to obtain funding and given the popularity of cryptocurrencies, it’s not uncommon to see celebrities endorsing these ICOs. Since ICOs are a form of crowdfunding, everyone […]

Network Effects in Crypto

This article from trustnodes.com details how the rise in price and usage of cryptocurrency can be modeled by network effects similar to those we studied in class. Primarily, the article focuses on the effects of usage on a network’s value. The article explains how Metcalfe’s law, which states that the value of a telecommunication network […]

Diffusion of Phrases through Social Media

Phrases, sayings, lingo, colloquialisms; no matter what you choose to call them, we all have a certain set of things we say and ways we say them, and this set is primarily constructed through our environment. We tend to have accents similar to our parents and to the people with whom we interact most. We […]

Tipping Points and Stability with a New Type of Soft Actuator

Soft robotics is a subfield of robotics that deals with robots made from soft materials such as rubber or silicone. Soft robots are useful for interactions with humans and carrying out tasks in uncertain environments. However, most soft robotic systems are not completely made out of soft materials. They often need large compressors or pumps […]

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