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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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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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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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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Preston Colloquium with Noshir Contractor

SONIC Director Noshir Contractor will be the first Ivan Preston Colloquium speaker of this academic year at UW-Madison.  His talk, “People Analytics: Using Digital Exhaust from the Web to Leverage Network Insights in the Algorithmically Infused Workplace,” will take place on Monday, October 9, 2023. The discussion will present empirical examples to demonstrate how people analytics can be leveraged to mine data created by individuals in their digital transactions to address challenges they face with issues such as team assembly and team conflict. Professor Contractor’s colloquium is the first of five talks that the university will host this year.

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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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