Northwestern IPR Invites SONIC Director Noshir Contractor to Give Talk

SONIC Director Noshir Contractor gave a talk on Monday, February 26, as part of Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research (IPR) programming. The talk began at noon in Chambers Hall on the Evanston campus, and is part of the Fay Lomax Cook Winter 2024 Colloquium Series, where IPR researchers from around the University share their latest policy-relevant research. Prof. Contractor’s talk focuses on “People Analytics: Using Digital Exhaust to Leverage Network Insights in the Algorithmically Infused Workplace.”

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SONIC Director Noshir Contractor to Present at Generative AI+Entertainment Conference

Today, SONIC Director Noshir Contractor will be participating in an event organized by Northwestern’s School of Communication and Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law. The conference is taking place today (2/1), in Los Angeles California and is sponsored by law firm Loeb & Loeb, LLP. The event features various speakers to explain how generative AI is changing the conversation in entertainment, technology, and law. Prof. Contractor will be presenting with Prof. Duri Long (assistant professor of Communication Studies) during Panel 2, which is focused on generative AI and creative output. This portion of the conference will aim to answer the following questions– how do creators interact with AI? Who owns creative products co-created with AI? To read more about the event, click here.

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McCormick Global Initiatives Hosts International Partner University Workshop

Director of McCormick Engineering Global Initiatives Matthew Grayson hosted the Four Corners Virtual Workshop on Sustainability– a series of small-group research brainstorming sessions between four international universities (Northwestern, Tel Aviv University (TAU), National Taiwan University (NTU), and the University of Hamburg (UH)). With so much academic talent in one place, Grayson relied on SONIC Director Noshir Contractor’s new match-making algorithm to formulate groups of between 3-6 attendees, generating 47 research collaborations on dozens of topics between combinations of researchers across all participating universities. SONIC Alum Diego Gomez-Zara worked together with Grayson and the Global Initiatives Staff to compile a survey that matched researchers and automated the team-building process. Congrats Diego! The workshop noted a highly successful example of SONIC research initiatives in action. For more information on the process and workshop, read more.

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Noshir Contractor Gives Network Talk at THINK EXPONENTIAL Workshop

Today (December 4th, 2023), SONIC Director Noshir Contractor will lead a talk in Dubai as part of COP28’s THINK EXPONENTIAL Workshop. Prof Contractor’s “Think Networks” talk will be centered around the question: “are you using the power of social?” Discussions will focus on how to make social networks work for us. The leadership workshop, spread over two days, is sponsored by IBM.

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SONIC Speaker Series Presents: David Krackhardt

Video now available on YouTube:

SONIC is proud to welcome Professor David Krackhardt of Carnegie Mellon University to speak on Power and Networks in Organizations.

David Krackhardt

Professor of Organizations and Public Policy

Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, Joint Appointment with The Tepper School of Business



To learn more about the speaker, please visit:

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SONIC at CESUN 2023 Symposium

Earlier this week, SONIC Director Noshir Contractor and Graduate Student Researcher Neelam Modi attended and participated in the Council of Engineering Systems Universities 2023 Symposium. The Council provides a mechanism for member universities to work together on developing engineering systems as a new field of study. An overall objective of the Council is to broaden engineering education and practice. Neelam gave a talk on Social Influence & Customer Preferences: A Case Study in the U.S. New Car Buyer Market, and Noshir served on a panel discussing Network Methods for Multi-Agent Sociotechnical Systems. Congrats, Noshir and Neelam!

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Yesterday, SONIC Director Noshir Contractor gave a keynote speech at the 7th ICCOMAC 2023. Professor Contractor traveled to Bali for the International Conference on Corporate and Marketing Communication and was joined by many other speakers sharing their expertise. Congratulations!

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Noshir Contractor to Give Keynote at 4th COMNEWS 2023

SONIC Director Noshir Contractor will be one of four keynote speakers at the 4th COMNEWS 2023, the International Conference on Communication and New Media Studies. This year’s conference topic is “Rethinking post-digital society: Imagining the future of media, communication, and sustainability”. Noshir Contractor’s keynote will focus on leveraging computational social science to address societal challenges, illustrating how increased access to big data offers social scientists and social network scholars an unprecedented opportunity to engage more actively in monitoring, anticipating, and designing interventions to address grand societal challenges. The conference is supported by the ICA Indonesia Chapter and will take place October 25th and 26th in Sanur, Bali.


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Introducing: The SONIC Team Fall 2023

We have no shortage of work to do and projects to complete here at SONIC. Luckily, we have the best team behind us! This quarter, our entire SONIC team meets together once a week to discuss current happenings, give progress updates, and encourage team bonding. We are so grateful to have our team’s combined expertise, and we can’t wait to see the achievements and successes this coming year brings!

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