SONIC Director Named Executive Director of Web Science Trust

SONIC Director Noshir Contractor has been named Executive Director of Web Science Trust (WST), effective May 1, 2024. WST is a UK-based charity that promotes understanding of how the Web and society mutually influence each other through education and research in web science. Professor Contractor announced that he is honored and excited to, “shape a future where the Web and AI can synergistically benefit an equitable and inclusive humanity.” Congratulations! Read more about WST and Professor Contractor’s service here.

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Research Explores Effects of Instrumental and Expressive Networks on Thriving at Work

SONIC Director Noshir Contractor recently published an article alongside researchers Mengxiao Zhu, Ruoxiao Su, and Lin Liu. The article, titled “Communicate or not: Exploring the different effects of instrumental and expressive networks on thriving at work”, focuses on the ways in which employees are embedded in their social contexts. Using a structural equation model, the researchers found that communication relations differ in their connections to thriving at work depending on whether they are achieved via advice-seeking versus friendship relations. Read the article here.

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SONIC Team Members Receive Departmental Honors and Distinctions

As the academic year comes to a close, SONIC congratulates all team members who have received honors and distinctions! The student award winners by department are as follows:

PhD Award Winners:
– Neelam Modi: Best TA Award (IEMS)
– Vsevolod Suschevskiy: Outstanding TA Award (CS)

Communication Studies Award Winners:
– Jessica Cheng: George M. Sargent Award and Honors for Undergraduate Thesis
– Supraja Sudarsan: Departmental Excellence
– Glenna Wang: Departmental Excellence
– Alison Casler: Departmental Excellence

IEMS Award Winners:
– Mika Ng: IEMS Department Award, Academic Excellence Award
– Mark MacGuidwin: IEMS Department Award, Academic Excellence Award
– Victoria Shi: Academic Excellence Award

Congratulations to all!

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Research Presented at 2024 SIOP Conference

Last week, SONIC Director Noshir Contractor was joined by Alina Lungeanu, Leslie DeChurch, and Megan Chan to present research papers in a session at the 2024 Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) Annual Conference. The research included “Crossing Boundaries in Space Exploration Multiteam Systems”, “The Impact of Communication Delay in Cognitive Coordination and Problem-Solving Performance in Spaceflight Multiteam Systems”, “Leadership Signatures in Spaceflight Multiteam Systems”, and “The Tyranny of Twos.” Congratulations to all who presented!

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SONIC at the 2024 SIOP Annual Conference

This Friday, April 19th, SONIC Lab members will participate in a panel hosted by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). SONIC Director Noshir Contractor will be joined by Megan Chan, Suzanne T. Bell, John E. Mathieu, Sydney Begerowski, Hancheng Cao, and Johnathan Kush in a presentation at 9am on Friday morning. The panel is titled, “Text to Teamwork: Decoding Team Dynamics with Computer-Aided Text Analysis.” Learn more about the 2024 SIOP Conference here.

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SONIC Lab Hosts P.h.D. Candidate Hancheng Cao

This Wednesday (4/17), the SONIC Lab hosted Stanford University P.h.D. candidate Hancheng Cao to give talk on his current network research. Hancheng’s work focuses on evaluating and designing computing systems for the future of work. The presentation included analysis of various projects to exemplify the opportunities to leverage computation to better understand, support and augment work practices. Thank you, Hancheng! Be sure to watch a recording of the presentation here:

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Noshir Contractor to Give Presentation at Indian Institute of Mass Communication

Tomorrow, April 2nd, SONIC Director Noshir Contractor will be giving a special lecture for the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi’s Department of English Journalism. Prof. Contractor’s presentation is titled “Leveraging Network Science and Big Data to Address Grand Societal Challenges” and will take place from 3-5pm at Mahatma Gandhi Manch.

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11th Annual ANN-SONIC International Workshop on Network Theory

This past weekend, SONIC Director Noshir Contractor participated in the 11th annual ANN-SONIC International Workshop on Network Theory. The event was hosted at the University of Southern California and was centered around the topic of Networks in Translation: Moving Network Research into Social Practice. The pillars of focus that were discussed over the course of the weekend include clinical, community, economic, and policy impacts of network research. The event was co-hosted by the SONIC lab as well as the Annenberg Networks Network (ANN) lab at USC. Learn more about the event here:

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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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