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Facebook to organize friends in “smart lists”

Facebook will soon be transforming the way that friends are categorized online.  According to the article “Facebook to organize friends in ‘smart lists’” in The Seattle Times ( , the social networking website plans to automatically create groups based on such variables as geographic location, school, work, etc. to improve users’ ability to decide how […]

Strong ties that become Weak In the first few weeks of class we learned about the varying strengths of relationships that form a network. Specifically we categorized these relationships as strong and weak ties. A recent article in the Financial Post discussed a study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that explored lost ties, or the relevance of […]

Covert Social Networks: Using Network Analysis for Anti-Terrorism Efforts

Article: At the very early introduction to this course, we were shown images of different examples of networks to demonstrate the ubiquitous application of the concept. Most networks that we think of provide post hoc information, such as the spread of STDs in a high school from a map of intimate relationships between students. […]

Auctions in Political Elections This article highlights the importance of auction theory by modeling elections as auctions and showing that the strategies that determine the amount of campaign money to spend are simply strategies to maximize payoff in an auction.  The auction setup is as follows: the candidates are bidding campaign money in hopes of winning the election.  […]

Media and Social Networks for College Readiness

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is sponsoring a  Michigan State University study to analyze the role of social networks in encouraging higher education for low income students. The study gathers data on high school and middle school students from around the nation to analyze how each student’s access to social media affects their access […]

Game theory explains why you’re willing to pay more than a dollar for a dollar. This article introduces the “dollar auction”.  In this auction, two players are at an auction for a dollar.  The only way to win the dollar is by bidding their own money.  The twist to this auction is that both players must pay their auction amount upon “winning” the auction.  Due to the nature of […]

Mobile phone patents and game theory

[Article] The article above gives a summary of the recent actions of Google, Apple, and Microsoft to buy thousands of mobile phone patents. It makes it clear that bankers and corporate executives are amazed that patents, which were “barely footnotes to deals a decade ago and rarely figured in the valuation of companies” are […]

Pay-to-bid Auctions

In this blog post I will talk about the results of a paper which analyzes pay-to-bid auctions. This paper, called “Pay-to-bid Auctions” by Brennan C. Platt, Joseph Price and Henry Tappen, was one of the first to analyze this new and exciting kind of auction (you can find it here I’ll start out by […]

Friendship in the classroom

A recent law (not yet in effect) has been debated in Missouri about whether or not teachers could ‘friend’ students under 18 in social networking sites, such as facebook. There are certainly reasons for having such a law, in that teachers befriending students in an unofficial setting could result in security or privacy concerns; however, […]

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September 2011
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