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Following the Herd on Black Friday

Black Friday, which is the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally marks the beginning of the American holiday shopping season and is historically one of the busiest shopping days of the year. In the past, retailers often opened at 6:00 AM on Friday. Led by retail giants like Walmart, Target, Macy’s, Kohl’s, and Best Buy, these opening […]

Modeling Cancer

According to scientists, the way that tumors spread to the rest of the body can be represented in a mathematical model as a network. The size of the spreading cancer to other parts of the body, and where the spread occurs is based on the sizes and recurrence. Although rate of spread typically is hard […]

Information Cascades in Facebook RSVPs

We learned in class the concept of information cascade and the idea of the majority. We learned this in relation to the restaurant example where a person has to choose between a restaurant he/she found online or the restaurant with many people already in it. There are definite differences between the two meaning that there […]

Cyber Monday and Viruses

Cyber Monday is a great time for cyber-attackers! During the holiday season, this works best because people are looking for best deals on items.  During this time, attackers send out spam emails that prompt people to click on a link that carries a virus! According to the article, many times attackers either will send thousands of […]

Rich Get Richer – Hotel Edition

Recently the large hotel chain Marriott acquired the smaller group of hotels known as Starwood. Before this merger, each chain specialized to its niche of travelers. Marriott catered to frequent travelers looking for a go-to hotel in one of its many locations. Starwood had a group of travelers who traveled to the chain’s destination locations […]

Information Cascade in Nature   It is mostly always beneficial when we notice a pattern in nature that we also observe among humans. This can lead us to extra insight as to how different animals reason and make decisions. In the linked article, the mob mentality of locusts is studied; the findings presented in the article are that […]

Human-Animal Disease Transmission

Firs off, some vocabulary – a disease that can pass between humans and animals is called a Zoonotic disease. We actually touched on these briefly in class, when the professor mentioned that networks through which diseases spread might have nodes that aren’t just people, but also animals. Studying this area is actually a very important […]

Thankful for Advertisements on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States. Each year, millions of Americans gather with family and friends to give thanks for what they have. The holiday is often closely associated with such events as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and professional football games. These events are noted for their popularity […]

Modeling Suicide Contagion as an Epidemic

Suicide contagion is a serious and real phenomenon in society in which a single suicide can inadvertently cause multiple other suicides. As opposed to the spread of disease, there are no physical media, such as bacteria or viruses, that are being transferred. Instead, “publicity and news coverage” around one particular suicide allows suicides to spread like […]

How Christian Missions Spread Democracy

This article examines the correlation between Christian missions and the spread of democracy, particularly Protestants who went to British colonies. This diffusion of innovation, or the spread of a new idea, technology, or practice through a social network, resulted from the missionaries’ focus on educating the indigenous people in these colonies and teaching them new tactics for civil […]

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