SONIC Welcomes Visiting Researcher Pavel Krivitsky

Over the past few weeks, SONIC has had the honor of hosting Dr. Pavel Krivitsky, expert on social network analysis from the University of New South Wales Sydney. While in Evanston, Dr. Krivitsky discussed social network research and his own discoveries of methods and models for analyzing complex network data and processes. We thank Dr. Krivitsky for his visit and for sharing his expertise!

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Welcome to SONIC, Megan & Brian!

SONIC is excited to introduce Megan Chan and Brian Bogert. Megan and Brian are joining SONIC as a first-year Ph.D. student in the Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences (IEMS) program this coming Fall.

Megan Chan received her Bachelor of Science in Industiral Engineering from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. Upon graduation, she worked as a technology consultant at Protiviti, where she provided enterprise software implementation technical and advisory services. Her research interests include organizational communication, optimization, network analysis, and data science. Outside of work, she loves picking up new skills. She enjoys dance (ballet, contemporary, hip hop) and martial arts. She is passionate about sustainability, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and she is striving to be an ally, a mentor, and a leader wherever she can.

Brian Bogert will be receiving his Bachelor’s from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. As a double major in Industrial & Systems Engineering and Political Science, Brian is a huge proponent of interdisciplinary studies. He is especially interested in the science behind teams and how it relates to the public sector. One dream he has is to incorporate decision analysis and operations research to improve efficiency within the federal bureaucracy. Outside of school, he loves listening to music, watching baseball, and looking up random facts about roller coasters or whatever else he feels like searching.

Both Megan and Brian are excited to start their journey in Academia with SONIC — and we’re very excited to have them on board!

SONIC would also like to wish our SONIC Alumni the best of luck with their new careers! 

Balint Neray recently concluded his post-doctoral position at SONIC in February. At SONIC, Balint worked on several projects, including the Social Influence, Family Planning in Kenya, as well as the Hierarchical Multidimensional Network-based Approach for Multi-Competitor Product Design. Balint’s work focuses on the analysis of ego-centric networks and how it is essential in understanding various social phenomena. After SONIC, Balint is joining Facebook as a Research Scientist

Last month, Kyosuke Tanaka successfully defended his dissertation. At SONIC, Kyosuke heads the 6DoS (6 Degrees of Separation) Project and worked on Threadless and the SCALE Project. Kyosuke’s work focuses on understanding how and why people perceive, activate, and leverage their social contacts. After SONIC, Kyosuke is joining the Department of Management at Aarhus University for a 3-year postdoc on a project titled Patterns of Interaction: Emergence and Consequences

The SONIC Research Group thanks Balint and Kyosuke for all of their hard work during their time at SONIC and wishes them all the best in their career!

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Virtual NCA 2020 Convention Highlights

Last weekend, current and former SONIC members had the pleasure to present at the Virtual National Communication Association (NCA) Convention 2020. Here’s some highlights from the convention:



If you missed the live session last weekend, watch the recorded conference presentation here:

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ASONAM acceptance!

Sharing another great news – We have a paper accepted to The 2020 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining (ASONAM)! Congrats to authors Aditya Tyagi, Diego Gomez-Zara, and Dr. Noshir Contractor.


The conference is virtual and will be live 7-10 December. More information about the conference can be found here:


Please find the title, abstract and citation of the paper below:

Title: How do Friendship and Advice Ties Emerge? A Case Study of Graduate Student Social Networks

Abstract: In this paper, we analyze the factors that are most likely to explain the formation of friendship and advice ties among 44 students from a professional STEM graduate program.
To answer our research questions, we investigate how students’ characteristics influence the formation of their friendship and advice networks using descriptive network analysis, community
detection, and Exponential Random Graph Models. The results show that the formation of friendship and advice ties is mostly driven by demographic homophily and prior group activities. Our findings also suggest that female students were more constrained in their friendship and advice networks than male students. We discuss the implications of these results for how graduate
students’ social networks form at the beginning of their program.

Index Terms—Homophily, personality, community detection, exponential random graph models, network analysis, minorities.


Gómez-Zará, D., DeChurch, L. A., & Contractor, N. S. Do I Know You? The Effects of Offline Social Capital on Self-Assembled Teams Online. Accepted at the NCA 106th Annual Convention.

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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!

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Noshir Presents “Some Assembly Required” for University of Florida’s CTSI Team Science Talks


Lab Director Noshir Contractor presented his lecture “Some Assembly Required: Organizing in the 21st Century” on Oct. 26, 2015 for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Team Science Talks at the University of Florida. His talk illustrated how comprehensive digital trace data provide an unprecedented exploratorium to model the socio-technical motivations for creating, maintaining, dissolving, and reconstituting into teams – arguing that Network Science is foundational in advancing our understanding of effective team emergence and that these insights are building a new generation of recommender systems that leverage our research insights on the socio-technical motivations for creating ties.

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