Introduction of Social Science Session
Avi Wigderson, Herbert H. Maass Professor in the School of Mathematics
Institute for Advanced Study
Computational Phenomena in Social Interaction
Jon Kleinberg, Cornell University
With an increasing amount of social interaction taking place in the digital domain, and often in public online settings, we are that were once essentially invisible to us: the collective behavior and social interactions of hundreds of millions of people, recorded at unprecedented levels of scale and resolution. Modeling and analyzing these phenomena computationally offers new insights into the design of online applications, as well as new perspectives on fundamental questions in the social sciences. Kleinberg reviews some of the basic issues around these developments; these include the problem of designing information systems in the presence of complex social feedback effects, the opportunity to develop and refine rich computational models of complex social phenomena, and the emergence of a growing research interface between computing and the social sciences, facilitated by these new forms of data and new computational models.
Jon Kleinberg is the Tisch University Professor in the Departments of Computer Science and Information Science at Cornell University. Kleinberg received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996. His research focuses on algorithmic issues at the interface of networks and information, with an emphasis on the social and information networks that underpin the Web and other online media. Kleinberg is also the recipient of research fellowships from the MacArthur, Packard, Simons, and Sloan Foundations, as well as awards including the Nevanlinna Prize, Harvey Prize, and ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/kleinber/