SCNARC Seminar: Computational COIN: Sensing, Characterization, and Shaping Human Social Behavior

March 02, 2011

Speaker: Prof. Alex (Sandy) Pentland (MIT, Human Dynamics)

We have developed robust models of how social network dynamics shape human behavior. These models are constructed by use of data collected by my research group's unique `reality mining' sensor platforms, which allow us to track the behavior of hundreds of people in great detail and over long periods of time, and provide accurate predictions of human decision making performance across a wide range of network sizes. Finally, I will describe how they have be used to effectively shape social behaviors, and were used to guide our win of DARPA's 40th Anniversary of the Internet Grand Challenge.

Alex `Sandy’ Pentland directs MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory and the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program, and advises DARPA, the World Economic Forum, Nissan Motor Corporation, and a variety of start-up firms. He has previously helped create and direct MIT’s Media Laboratory, the Media Lab Asia laboratories at the Indian Institutes of Technology, and Strong Hospital’s Center for Future Health. Profiles of Sandy have appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, Forbes, and Harvard Business Review. Sandy is among the most-cited computational scientists in the world, and a pioneer in computational social science, organizational engineering, mobile computing, image understanding, and modern biometrics. His research has been featured in Nature, Science, and Harvard Business Review, as well as TV features such as Nova and Scientific American Frontiers. Over the years Sandy has advised more than 50 PhD students. Almost half are now tenured faculty at leading institutions, with another one-quarter leading industry research groups and a final quarter founders of their own companies.

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