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Hacking the system of social influence: How can we use the mechanics of influence to drive behavior for public good?

Hacking the system of social influence: How can we use the mechanics of influence to drive behaviour for public good?   Social Influence is unavoidable and ubiquitous and it plays the most important role in people’s life in many aspects: from political attitude toward presidential election to choice of what cereal brands you choose to […]

Premier League Loans and Weak Ties

Premier League clubs (England’s top soccer competition) suffer from a problem unique to teams of their financial superiority. Soccer clubs in the world’s top leagues can buy and sell players in two major periods called transfer windows. In England, these transfer windows occur during the off-season in summer and in the middle of the season […]

Upturned Values in Market Purchasing Decisions

While we’ve been discussing recently about market clearing prices, price matching, individual buyer values and the related phenomena, the large majority of that has occurred in regards to concrete items being bought & sold. Well, that is to say that we assume when there’s a match between Seller A and Buyer X, something tangible is […]

Game Theory in Financial Market

The notion of selling assets when prices are falling in the stock market seems counter intuitive: investors want to sell at a high and buy at a low so they either minimize losses or maximize profits. However, most of the times, the opposite is true. Investors sell when the prices are falling so that they […]

The Syrian Conflict as an Unbalanced Network

Studying network balance can provide insights into the diplomatic instability surrounding the Syrian conflict. I’ve created a graph of diplomatic relations: (Red lines denote hostile relationships, green the opposite; dotted lines denote weak relationships) The first thing you’ll notice is that this network is a mess; there are balance violations abound. Several triangles exist where […]

Introducing Fairness to Game Theory

In class, we made two major simplifying assumptions in our discussion of game theory: first, that everything a player cares about is summarized in his or her own payoffs; and second, that each individual chooses a strategy to maximize his or her own payoffs. Because these assumptions are so essential to the conclusions we draw, […]

Triadic Closure helps humans remember a larger social network In your own lifetime, you are bound to know a multitude people and therefore accumulate a large social network. But how is it possible for you to remember so many of these connections? Research by Matthew Brashears, a sociologist from our very own Cornell University, found that it is not the physical size of […]

Game theory for the average voter

The United States has always had a two party system. Every election year, both parties rile up their respective bases to motivate them to vote and attempt to hold majority control over state and national offices. Every election cycle, the same story is told that if the other candidate wins, then the country as people […]

Second Price Auction: Timing of Bid Behaviors

The second price (sealed bid) auction runs the same as the first price auction, except the winner pays the second highest bid. Today, eBay is one of the most popular second price auctions (along with Google,,  and Yahoo!, etc) in the markets. According to eBay’s second price auction, each buyer specifies their maximum bid. […]

Trump’s Success — The Role of Deteriorating Communities

Many Americans were initially surprised and skeptical when business mogul Donald Trump announced his decision to run for president. Despite all the controversy and criticism, however, it is clear that his campaign was successful enough to carry him this far. Clinching his spot as the GOP nominee is probably not an outcome that most of […]

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Blogging Calendar

September 2016