Welcome, Jasmine and Carmen!

To kick-off the new school year, SONIC is excited to introduce our two new SONIC members, Jasmine and Carmen. Jasmine is joining SONIC as a first-year Ph.D. student in Media, Technology, and Society (MTS) whereas Carmen is joining SONIC as a lab manager.

Jasmine (Yutong) Wu is a first-year Ph.D. student in Media, Technology, and Society (MTS). She graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Information Science and Communication. Her research interests include social network analysis, teamwork, and intergroup bias. Jasmine is excited to apply advanced computational tools to understand team processes in research and industrial settings to further improve management and team performance. In SONIC, she will work on the Enterprise Social Media and Scientific Workforce projects. Outside of work, she enjoys running, swimming, photography, and exploring theaters and art museums in Chicagoland.

Carmen Chan holds a B.S. with Distinction in Research in Communication from Cornell University. She is interested in the intersection of social media, mental health, and interpersonal communication, and is excited to learn ways to apply a social network perspective to further examine online social support for mental health. She will serve as a project manager for the enterprise social media project and support ongoing research at SONIC. Outside of work, she enjoys reading, fashion, going to museums, and exploring coffee shops and brunch places!

Fun fact: Jasmine and Carmen worked at the same research labs (Cornell Group and Interpersonal Communication Lab & Cornell Virtual Embodiment Lab) during undergrad and walked together during graduation! They’re thankful for the opportunity to work with each other again and are already making plans to explore Chicago together!

We would also like to especially wish our SONIC alumni the best of luck with their new careers! Brent Hoagland, former lab manager, is joining Rutgers University as a first year PhD student in Sociology. Marlon Twyman II, graduated in June, is joining the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism as an assistant professor. Michael Schultz, former postdoctoral fellow, is joining Indiana University as an assistant professor at the Department of Sociology. We’ll miss them!

Contractor delivered keynote at 2019 International Conference of Social Computing in Beijing

Organized by the Center for Network Research and the Institute for Data Science at Tsung Hua University, The 2019 International Conference of Social Computing took place at Tsing Hua in Beijing, China, at Tsing Hua University. With the goals of exploring interdisciplinary methodological approaches for studying social networks in big data, as well as fostering discipline integration and innovation, the conference invited scholars around the globe to exchange and bridge ideas in modern technology, social science, and humanities.

Lab director, Noshir Contractor, was invited to give a keynote on the topic “Understanding and Enabling the Future of Work.” Other presenters include Charles Edward Catlett, senior computer scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and a Senior Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, Yang Chen, Associate Professor at Fudan University, James A. Evans, Professor at The University of Chicago, and more.


Kyosuke passing dissertation prospectus & paper acceptance at the journal of Applied Network Science

Last Friday was a big day for Kyosuke Tanaka, PhD candidate in the Media, Technology, and Society (MTS) Program.

His paper with Dr. Agnes Horvat , “(Un)intended Consequences of Networking in Individual and Network-level Efficiency,” has been accepted for publication in Applied Network Science. In their work, they looked into the differential effects of structural and frequency change on the efficiency of information flow through a network.  Whereas existing literature has focused predominantly on structural change, that is, the addition and deletion of communication ties, their research also pointed to an understudied aspect of personal networking: frequency change (the increase or decrease of communication on existing ties). To study these effects, they conducted simulations of networking approaches on a diverse set of real-world directed weighted communication networks and contributed their findings. Currently, the publication is in press. We will share the link it once it is published.

On the same day, Kyosuke also successfully passed his dissertation prospectus! His proposed title is Toward Understanding Human Information Routing in Communication Networks. His committee members are Drs. Noshir Contractor (advisor), Leslie DeChurch, and Agnes Horvat from Northwestern University, and Dr. Matthew Brashears from University of South Carolina.

Double congratulations to Kyosuke, and we look forward to seeing his dissertation coming along!

Left to Right: Dr. Agnes Horvat, Dr. Leslie DeChurch, Kyosuke Tanaka, Dr. Noshir Contractor.

Celebrating three paper acceptances at OCMC 2019

We are delighted to share that SONIC has three submissions accepted for talk presentations at the 2019 Organizational Communication Mini-Conference!

Our graduate student, Diego Gómez-Zará, will share his thoughts and findings regarding the diversity paradox in team formations. Contrary to the belief that diversity can bring benefits to groups, individuals might avoid working with dissimilar others. Drawing from homophily and diversity theories, he will unfold the interesting and critical results regarding the impact of one’s perception of team diversity and one’s willingness to work with diverse collaborators. 

Kyosuke Tanaka, another graduate student at SONIC, who also recently presented at AoM 2019, will explore the role of networking routing error in a specific context — knowledge sharing in organizations. Whereas the study of errors in routing information (i.e., critical information was not transferred to those needing it, or critical information was not solicited from those who possessed it) has received considerable attention in the field, Kyosuke will further advance existing work by introducing the concept of network acuity to characterize network routing errors.

Yuanxin Wang, visiting scholar from Peking University, will share her insights regarding team processes and their impact on performance in enterprise social media (ESM). To date, there is a lack of research concerning the dynamics of team processes and enterprise social media, despite a rise in the use of online social networks for business interests and activities. Addressing this research gap, Yuanxin will share her observations and findings related to the patterns in the occurrence of transition, action and interpersonal processes across time stages, and how these variations might impact project-based team performance. Her study is based on server logs of ESM data from a Chinese startup company.

Congratulations, Diego, Kyosuke, and Yuanxin, and thank you for all of your hard work!

Contractor received Lifetime Service Award at AoM 2019

AoM was definitely an exciting time for SONIC! We are delighted to share that our lab director, Dr. Noshir Contractor, was named this year’s recipient of the Academy of Management’s Organizational Communication & Information Systems (OCIS) Group Life Service Award.  Congratulations, Noshir!

Lungeanu presents at AoM 2019 on Leading Teams Over Time Through Space

Dr. Alina Lungeanu, will present tomorrow (Aug 13th) in the session “A Matter of Time: Advancing the Study of Team Processes in Extreme Environments.” She will shed light on the topic Leading Teams Over Time Through Space.


Lungeanu, A., DeChurch, L. A., & Contractor, N. S. (2019, August). Leading Teams Over Time Through Space. Academy of Management (AoM), Boston, MA.

SONIC alumna Jackie Ng selected as the Best Dissertation Award Finalist at AoM 2019

Congratulations to Dr. Jacqueline Ng Lane for being selected as the Best Dissertation Award Finalist from the Technology & Innovation Management Division at the Academy of Management 2019! Her dissertation topic is “Organizing in the Digital Age: How Team Collaboration Networks Form and Why They Perform.”

Jackie received her PhD in Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences (IEMS) at Northwestern University. Currently, she is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Business School conducting research at the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH). She can be reached at jnlane@hbs.edu.


Kyosuke Tanaka presents at AoM in Boston

Our graduate student, Kyosuke Tanaka, is attending the 79th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management at Boston from August 8th- August 13th to present his work on human information routing in communication network. He will unpack the phenomenon via an organizational perspective and further the current research through developing a novel framework by introducing human cognition. The work he is presenting will be informing his dissertation.


Tanaka, K. (2019). Toward Understanding Human Information Routing in Group Communication Networks. Poster to be presented at the 79th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Aug 8-13, Boston, MA, USA.