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Ágnes Horvát and Dashun Wang Give Keynotes at Annual IC2S2 Conference

The Annual International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2) is an interdisciplinary event designed to engage a broad community of researchers – academics, industry experts, open data activists, government agency workers, and think tank analysts – dedicated to advancing social science knowledge through computational methods. The 2017 conference took place in Cologne, Germany on July 10-13, 2017, and NICO is excited to note the following participants.


Ágnes Horvát
Ágnes Horvát
Northwestern University

Assistant Professor, School of Communication

NICO Affiliated Faculty

NICO Post Doctoral Researcher (2014-2016)

Title: Hidden signals of collective intelligence in crowdfunding

Abstract: Crowds have been argued to possess transformative collective intelligence benefits that allow superior decision-making by untrained individuals working in low-information environments. Classic wisdom of crowds theories are based on the study of large groups of diverse and independent decision-makers. Yet, most human decisions are reached in arrangements that violate these criteria. This observation puts forth a key question: Are there new expressions of collective intelligence that enable better outcomes? In this talk, we explore whether crowds furnish collective intelligence benefits in crowdfunding systems. Crowdfunding has grown and diversified quickly over the past couple of years expanding from funding aspirant creative works and supplying pro-social donations, to enabling large citizen-funded urban projects, and providing commercial interest-based unsecured loans. In the latter setting we find evidence for collective intelligence signals in financing: Opinion diversity and information aggregation speed predict who gets funded and who repays even after accounting for traditional measures of creditworthiness. Most importantly, crowds work best in correctly assessing the outcome of high risk projects. Furthermore, diversity and speed serve as early warning signals when inferring fundraising based solely on the initial part of the campaign. On the one hand, these findings broaden the field of crowd-aware system design and inform discussions about the augmentation of traditional financing systems with tech innovations. On the other hand, they contribute to the growing literature on the wisdom of crowds.

Dashun Wang
Northwestern University

Dashun WangAssociate Professor, Kellog School of Management

NICO Faculty

Title: Predictive Signals Behind Success

Abstract: Our current approach to success is driven by the belief that predicting exceptional impact requires us to detect extraordinary ability. Despite the long-standing interest in the problem, even experts remain notoriously bad at predicting long-term impact. Success reveals predictable patterns, however, if we start to see it not as an individual but a collective phenomenon: for something to be successful, it is not enough to be novel or appealing, but we all must agree that it is worthy of praise. If we accept the collective nature of success, its signatures can be uncovered from the many pieces of data around us using the tools of network and data sciences. In this talk, I will touch on three different examples of success spanning across science and technology, hoping to illustrate a series of fundamental mechanisms governing success. The uncovered patterns in these studies not only document new degrees of regularities underlying the often noisy and unpredictable complex systems, they also offer reliable measures of influence that may hold direct policy implications.


Sharing Strategies: Optimal networks for team collaboration and problem solving

PJ Lamberson (NICO Associate Director, 2013–2015)

John Lang

Noshir Contractor (NICO Faculty)

Leslie Dechurch

Brian Uzzi (NICO Co-Director)

Women and Creativity: Gender Differences in the Production of Popular Music

Michael Mauskapf (NICO PhD Student, Graduated 2017)

Jared Lorince (NICO Post Doctoral Fellow, 2016-2017)

Noah Askin

Emoke-Agnes Horvat (NICO Affiliated Faculty and Post Doctoral Fellow, 2014-2016)

Brian Uzzi (NICO Co-Director)

Quantifying patterns of research interest evolution

Tao Jia

Dashun Wang (NICO Faculty)

Boleslaw Szymanski


Measuring Textual Similarity of Scientific Papers to Predict Growth and Decline of Disciplines
Jared Lorince (NICO Post Doctoral Fellow, 2016-2017)

Martin Gerlach (Amaral Lab)

Brian Uzzi (NICO Co-Director)

Reconstructing a scientific discipline

Thomas Stoeger (Amaral Lab)

Martin Gerlach (Amaral Lab)

Richard Morimoto

Luis Amaral (NICO Co-Director)

For the full list of speakers, talks, and posters, please visit the IC2S2 web site:

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