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The Coursepad Information Cascade The observations made by the referenced blog post can be explained using the way information cascades work. When scheduling classes, there are a few options student can use: using pen and paper, using iCal, or some online service that helps in scheduling classes. Here we simplify the model to just say that students can […]

History of Bayes’ Rule

Bayes’ Rule was first discovered by Rev. Thomas Bayes’ during the 1740’s , but his work was never published when he was alive. It was not until a century later, mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace rediscovered it independently and published the modern formulation in 1812. The theorem was then widely used among the government officials. However, around […]

Applying Dynamical Systems to Sociology

Christopher Strohmeier Continuous dynamical systems is an immense field of mathematics whose origins may be traced to the work of Newton. It seeks to describe physical phenomena through the means of ordinary differential equations, i.e. equations which relate the values of a function to rates of change of said function. The attached article introduces the […]

Jumping Through Hoops to Seed Clusters

Article:   The Charlotte basketball team recently changed their name from the Bobcats to the Hornets. The name change comes as part of an attempted resurge in the popularity of the team, playing off a nostalgic name chosen after a poll of Charlotte residents ranked it as their favorite. It seems to be working, […]

Effectiveness of Spotify on Popularity (Using Power-Laws)

Recently, Taylor Swift announced that she would be taking off all her music from Spotify. Big Machine Records, her record company, pulled her content off of Spotify without negotiating with them. Swift and her record company’s justification was that Spotify pay artists a very low royalty payment, while fans get disproportional access to their free […]

Crowd Effects in Voting on Survivor

Survivor is a reality competition game show that involves strangers living on an island for 39 days on a deserted island split up into two tribes that compete each other in challenges, with the losing team having to vote someone out if they lose the challenge. A person is voted out after anonymous voting where […]

The Charitable Self

Back in the summer, a national fundraiser began known as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. In this challenge, a person on Facebook was nominated by their friend to either drop a bucket of ice water on their head, donate money to the ALS Foundation, or do both (under the time constraint of 24 hours). After […]

Do Individuals Actually Recognize Cascade Behaviors of Predecessors?

In class we have learned about information cascades and the properties upon which they operate. One of the implicit assumptions we make in this model is that individuals partaking are aware of the cascade behavior of others. This got me thinking – is this a realistic assumption to make? After all, there is a lot […]

Blogging Calendar

November 2014