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The Future of Venmo

PayPal acquired the rights to Venmo in 2015 for $800 million! Venmo is an app that allows users to instantly send money to each other, and to their bank accounts. It has grown rapidly in popularity since its creation in 2009 and revolutionized the payment industry by adding a simple, mobile, instant, and soon-to-be crypto […]

How fashion trends start.

An information cascade happens when the optimal decision of an individual is solely based on the decisions taken by individuals before him, ignoring their own information. We can observe information cascades and diffusion of information clearly in fashion trends. The following article explains the formation of fashion trends dividing them in 5 different types: […]

Effect of Fake News on Cascading Behavior In this article, Oscar Schwartz warns of the potential harms that “deep fakes” can cause. Unlike fake news seen with misinformation in articles and posts in social media, deep fakes are seen in the form of generated videos and photos that were never actually recorded/taken. Because of this additional visual aspect and how it’s […]

The Diffusion of Christianity in the Viking Age

Article:   Most of Europe had converted to Christianity at the time, but the Vikings still held on to their gods of the Norse pantheon, including Odin and Thor. When Christian missionaries first arrived in Denmark in the 700s and 800s, it was difficult to convince the Vikings to convert to Christianity. It was […]

Network Effects in Ride-Sharing Services in Québec   The article above reports on the Quebecoise Government’s recent decision to extend the “Uber pilot project” for another year. The author explains that this decision was made so that government researchers can better “study the effects of platform-mediated services” to determined how best to “level the playing field between new entrants and incumbents”. […]

Information Cascades and Echo Chambers

Social media has, over time, become a place where people can not only share their lives with loved ones so stay in touch (which was the result of the social revolution), but also share their political beliefs, news, information, etc. It would be amazing to believe that we are getting well-informed and varies sources in […]

Voting: Quality over Quantity

LINK: In the recent election, many have been urged by friends and peers to go out and vote in the election. With politics becoming increasingly vocal, apps have been created to show everyone’s listed voting records. People’s voting records, party affiliation, phone number, and name are all becoming increasingly public information with address and additional […]

How Contagious Is Ebola?

In 2014, when the Ebola epidemic reached the United States, NPR published a story about the contagiousness of Ebola compared to other pandemics. The number of people that a single person with Ebola is likely to infect, called the the Basic Reproduction Number or R0, was compared to that of Hepatitis C, HIV, SARS, Mumps, […]

Facebook Cascade Prediction

In class we have discussed information cascades and how they begin. In an information cascade, a person makes a decision based off of the observation of other people’s decisions. In this situation, if enough people make the same decision, everyone around them will make the same decision and therefore there will be an information cascade. […]

Using Evolutionary Game Theory to optimize Chemotherapy for Cancer

In lecture, we talked about how evolutionary game theory works in nature to determine which species survives and which dies out. A behavior survives if it’s fit, and fitness depends on who else is out there and what their behaviors are. We also made an assumption that the players in our evolutionary game don’t make […]

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Blogging Calendar

November 2018