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Why People Start Using Tumblr

After talking about how new behaviors spread through network in chapter 9 in regards to Facebook, I started to wonder how these trends could be see in the adoption of other social media. I thought an interesting subject of this analysis would be tumblr.com. Though this site does not have nearly as many users as […]

Using Prediction markets in scientific research

Prediction markets are now applied to more than just financial markets. The classic example is using markets to predict the outcome of political races, but markets have now been applied to predicting the predictability of scientific studies.  The article linked below describes the use of a prediction market to predict the reproducibility of specifically psychological studies. […]

Terrorism and Social Media Cascades

I found it difficult to need to speak about a recent news event for the class blog and not in some way reference the recent tragic terrorist attacks in Paris. I found this very interest article on the social media cascades and misinformation that was distributed after the attack. Most of us know someone that changed […]

Google App Ranking

As we learned in class, the PageRank and hubs-and-authorities algorithms are viable methods for ranking websites among search results. However, they are dependent on the presence of in-links and out-links as indicators of authority. We might also want to be able to rank things that are not so directly linked, but for which a ranking […]

Uber in the Light of Informational and Direct-Benefit Effects

Uber is a ride-sharing company that launched in 2009, that had many doubts and concerns about its outlook in the start. However, at 5 years old at 2014, the company had reported value of $40 billion, and is still growing in terms of market size and popularity. Uber heavily benefits on the informational and direct-benefit […]

False Information Cascade Through Social Media

After the terror attacks on Paris last Friday, social media was flooded by misinformation- from photoshopped pictures of a man in a turban to make it look like he was wearing a suicide vest and holding a Quran to rumors that Uber was capitalizing on the tragedy by increasing rates in Paris that night. This […]

Littering and Information Cascades

In this Atlantic article, “Littering and Following the Crowd”, Vivian Wagner introduces what environmental scientists are trying to do to convince people to stop littering by using crowd mentality. In other words, the theory of information cascades can be used to help the environment. These scientists have found that the phrase, “Do it for the […]

Entertainment in the 21st Century and the Rise of the Long Tail

For most of the 20th century, the entertainment industry was focused on making hits. The reason for this was that basic economics. Take for example the movie industry. Movie theaters will only show a film if it attracts a minimum of 1,500 people over the course of 2 weeks. As a result, only the most […]

Bayes Rule to Find Athletes Who Dope

Around 10 years ago, sports scientists started using Bayes rule to predict whether an athlete was using an illegal substance called erythropoietin to enhance his performance or not; this was called the Athletic Biological Passport (ABP), since it was thought it would help prevent cheating because of its low variability. A study that came out in 2011 determine […]

Networks of Competitors in Daily Fantasy Sports

In recent years there has been an increase in players of online fantasy sports. More recently, a number of people have turned to Daily Fantasy Sports such as DraftKings. In an episode on HBO, John Oliver spent a large fraction of his time discussing these websites and questions their legality. He explains that they are […]

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