I’m just finishing up with finals week now and will hopefully have more to write over the upcoming break. In the meantime, I thought I would reference you to some work I did this quarter. Specifically, I ended up doing 2 final projects and 1 term paper. 1 of those projects is still ongoing, so I haven’t posted anything for it, but the other 2 are pretty much complete and available for you to look at. Here are links and snippets for each of them (you can also find them on my writing page, along with various other things I’ve worked on):
Identifying Actors in Political Activism over Twitter
This paper was written for CS378, “Phenomenological Foundation of Cognition, Language & Computation.” I was interested in the use of Twitter for political activism (such as the Egyptian protests) and thought that there were interesting questions about identity and commitment in that context. I take some ideas from network models to understand the roles that individuals have in terms of concrete actions, and I connect that to some empirical work on types of actors in activism on Twitter to understand where identity comes from.
Evolution of Internet Information Consumption Through Bookmarking
This paper was written for CS224W, “Social and Information Network Analysis.” The question I had going into this was whether we could quantify how information overload might be reflected in changes in internet usage. Particularly, Neal Gabler here complains that we can’t grapple with big ideas and are stuck in the constant flow of unimportant data. I tackled this hypothesis by looking at Delicious data and seeing whether the distribution over bookmarks has changed from year to year. If he’s right, we should see more bookmarks happen sooner and less of a long tail. The basic result is that over 3 years, things look pretty much exactly the same, and I also try to come up with a model to explain the data.