Contractor presented at the 2019 Complex Networks conference

On December 12th, Prof. Noshir Contractor presented two research articles at the 8th International Conference on Complex Networks and their Applications, Lisbon, Portugal.


Antone, B., Gupta, A., Bell, S., DeChurch, L., & Contractor, N. (2020). Testing Influence of Network Structure on Team Performance Using STERGM-Based Controls. Complex Networks and Their Applications VIII, 1018–1030. Springer International Publishing.

Noshir Contractor named ACM Fellow for advancements in computing

Congratulations, Noshir!

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has named Noshir Contractor as one of its 2019 ACM Fellows.

ACM Fellows comprise an elite group that represents less than 1% of the association’s global membership. This year’s class was selected for far-reaching accomplishments that define the digital age and greatly impact our professional and personal lives.

Read more:

Contractor gave keynote at annual V2V summit at Chicago

On November 23rd, Noshir Contractor was invited to give a keynote at annual V2V summit at downtown Chicago. Started in 2013, the summit is a broad “Entrepreneurship+” platform that connects US-based innovators and entrepreneurs with international investors, corporations, and strategic partners.

More about the summit:


Contractor, N. (November 23, 2019). Keynote address at the 2019 Annual V2V Summit, Chicago, IL.

Contractor gave keynote at Ahmedabad, India

Noshir was invited to give a keynote on “People Analytics: Using Digital Exhaust to Leverage Network Insights in the Workplace” at the International conference on “Network Science in Economics and Finance.”

More about the conference:


Contractor, N. (December 9, 2019). People Analytics: Using Digital Exhaust to Leverage Network Insights in the Workplace. Keynote address at the International conference on “Network Science in Economics and Finance”, Ahmedabad, India. 


Diego and Kyosuke presenting at Weds@NICO Seminar Series

Our graduate students, Diego and Kyosuke, are going to present their research this Weds, Dec 4th, 12:00-1:00pm, at Wednesdays@NICO Seminar Series: Lightning Talks with Northwestern Fellows and Scholars. Below please find their titles and abstracts.

More event details:

Presenter: Kyosuke Tanaka

Title: How dispositional and positional factors affect an individual’s ability to efficiently route messages in a network

Abstract: Milgram’s small-world experiment provided evidence for six degrees of separation, on average a chain of five contacts separated any two random people in the world. However, this was only true for those messages that reached the final destination. While, in theory, the small-world phenomenon is structurally common in social networks, empirical evidence shows that human navigation of small-world social networks is remarkably challenging. Messages often reach the intended destination via a longer path than expected, get enmeshed in loops, and/or often never reach it. This leads to painful consequences for organizations that require information routing to share (or retrieve) knowledge among their members. Extreme examples of these failures contributed to the loss of the space shuttles Challenger and Columbia. Here, I present a study of an understudied type of error—network routing—and introduce network acuity to conceptualize and operationalize an individual’s ability to efficiently route messages. Using, 6-DoS (Six Degrees of Separation), a network routing task based on Milgram’s small-world experiment with 435 individuals organized into 25 networks, I explored two types of factors that impact an individual’s network acuity: positional factors (where you are in the network) and dispositional factors (who you are). Results show that (a) those in the core or brokerage position had high network acuity than did peripheral or non-bridge members, (b) neuroticism was positively associated with acuity, (c) conscientiousness was negatively associated with acuity. Further, individuals’ network positions impacted network acuity more than dispositional characteristics. The results of this experimental study illustrate not only the usefulness of the concept of network acuity to characterize network routing errors but also advance our understanding of factors that explain variance in individuals’ network acuity.

Presenter: Diego Alonso Gomez Zara
Title: A Network Approach to the Formation of Self-assembled Teams
Abstract: Which individuals in a network make the most appealing teammates? Which invitations are most likely to be accepted? And which are most likely to be rejected? This study explores the factors that are most likely to explain the selection, acceptance, and rejection of invitations in self-assembling teams. We conducted a field study with 780 participants using an online platform that enables people to form teams. Participants completed an initial survey assessing traits, relationships, and skills. Next, they searched for and invited others to join a team. Recipients could then accept, reject, or ignore invitations. Using Exponential Random Graph Models (ERGMs), we studied how traits and social networks influence teammate choices. Our results demonstrated that (a) agreeable leaders with high psychological collectivism send invitations most frequently, (b) previous collaborators, leaders, competent workers, females, and younger individuals receive the most invitations, and (c) rejections are concentrated in the hands of a few.

Noshir Contractor elected as 2019 AAAS Fellow

We are delighted to share that Noshir Contractor has been elected as 2019 fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is recognized for intellectual leadership in the development of computational social science and web science and his contributions to network science theory and methodology. He will be honored on Feb 15 at the 2020 AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington.

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Jasmine and Carmen presents at NCA 2019

Our lab members, Jasmine and Carmen are going to present at NCA 2019 for a paper they wrote on how avatar gender affects female participant’s negotiation style and outcomes in an online environment. This work was based on their undergraduate research at Cornell University. The presentation will be Sunday 11/11, 11am, and the paper was awarded the Best Student Paper at the Organizational Communication Division!