Applied Math PhD comprehensive exam | John LangExport this event to calendar

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 1:30 PM EDT

M3 3103

Speaker

John Lang, Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Waterloo

Title

Information Flow and Decision Making Over Social Networks

Abstract

On December 17, 2010, a fruit vender named Mohamed Bouazizi self-immolated in the small Tunisian town of Sidi Bousid. In doing so, he set in motion a series of protests and revolutions that we now collectively refer to as the Arab Spring. It is widely believed that new communications technologies such as the Internet and social media played a critical role in the success of protests that ultimately led to the downfall of dictatorial regimes in both Tunisia and Egypt. This seminar discusses approaches to modeling these types of social processes which occur over complex social networks. Agent-based, effective degree, Nekoee-type, moment closure, and compartmental models are considered, among others. We then introduce a similar one-compartment remodel for the dynamics of an Arab-Spring-like revolution, which is able to qualitatively capture a wide range of scenarios observed in Tunisia and Egypt, as well as in Iran, China and Somalia. This model is then applied as a framework from which we develop possible answers to four outstanding questions regarding the evolution of the Arab Spring. A more complex treatment of the Arab Spring phenomenon is propose, followed by a discussion of possible directions for future research.

Location 
University of Waterloo
M3 3103

,
Canada

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