WUSTL

Einstein Public Lecture in Mathematics to focus on social networks

Mathematician asks: How can we have this much data and still not understand collective human behavior?

Courtesy of Cornell University

Jon Kleinberg, PhD, the Tisch University Professor at Cornell University, will deliver the American Mathematical Society’s 2013 Einstein Public Lecture in Mathematics at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, in Graham Chapel on the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis.


Jon Kleinberg, PhD, the Tisch University Professor at Cornell University, will deliver the American Mathematical Society’s 2013 Einstein Public Lecture in Mathematics Saturday, Oct. 19, in Graham Chapel on the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis.

Kleinberg will speak on “Bursts, Cascades and Hot Spots: A Glimpse of Some Online Social Phenomena at Global Scales.” The talk, which begins at 5 p.m., is free and open to the public.

“As an increasing amount of social interaction moves online,” Kleinberg said, “it becomes possible to study phenomena that were once essentially invisible: how our social networks are organized, how groups of people come together and attract new members, and how information spreads through society. 

“With computational and mathematical ideas, we can begin to map the rich social landscape that emerges, filled with ‘hot spots’ of collective attention, and behaviors that cascade through our networks of social connections.”

Kleinberg is a leader in the effort to understand modern entities such as the World Wide Web and online social networks. He has received many awards and honors, including a MacArthur “Genius” Grant and election to the National Academy of Sciences. 

Famous not only for his research, Kleinberg also is celebrated for his ability to explain his insightful results to anyone, regardless of their expertise.

The talk is sponsored by the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and hosted by the Department of Mathematics in Arts & Sciences at WUSTL, where the 2013 AMS Fall Central Sectional Meeting will be held Friday through Sunday, Oct. 18-20.

“The Department of Mathematics is proud to host the Fall Central Sectional Meeting,” said David Wright, PhD, professor and department chair. “While the Einstein Lecture is of spcial interest, there will be sessions of short talks in numerous fields of mathematics, several of which are being chaired by members of our department.

“We welcome the nearly 500 participants from across the United States who are planning to attend this event,” he said.

The 2013 AMS Fall Sectional Meeting program, list of invited addresses, special sessions information and more can be found here.
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David Wright
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