Research Talk

The Center for Computational and Data Sciences in the ISchool is pleased to host the following talk:

Title:  Deep Learning for NLP
Speaker:  Dr. Nancy McCracken
Date:  Wednesday, December 14th, 2016
Time:  3:00 PM - 4:00 PM 
Location:  Katzer Room (Hinds Hall)

Description:  In this talk, I introduce Deep Learning as a technique in machine learning that automatically learns classification features.  Deep learning tasks will be surveyed, including those for NLP.  The main focus of the talk will be on the NLP task of learning dense word similarity vectors, such as those popularized by the word2vec software.  We will show examples with both word2vec (the gensim implementation) and Deep Tensor software for this task in python.

Bio: Dr. McCracken is a Research Associate Professor in the iSchool.  Her general research interests are in applying the principles and tools of computational linguistics to making information accessible and understandable for people.  Recent research projects include an NSF funded project for using natural language processing and machine learning to assist social scientists in content analysis of text, an NSF funded project for building a qualitative data repository and working with the campaign research project group in using social media to engage in ...

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Research Talk

The Center for Computational and Data Sciences in the ISchool is pleased to host the following talk:

Title:  Swiping left: Personalization and the politics of online dating
Speaker:  Dr. Yoel Roth (from Twitter)
Date:  Tuesday, April 25th, 2017
Time:  12:30 - 1:30 PM
Location:  Katzer Room (Hinds Hall 347)
Link to talk:  Click here

Abstract:  High quality. Relevant. Important. Fastest. Best. Most interesting. The terms used by online platforms to describe the personalization of content tell a compelling story about the benefits of tailoring online activity to the preferences of individual users. But what are the consequences of algorithmic personalization on how we form romantic and sexual relationships? Through a comparative technical historical study of networked dating, I outline how the roots of personalization can be found in a decades-long trajectory towards the quantification and translation into data of bodies, identities, and desire. I suggest that Tinder, a mobile dating application whose more than 50 million active users exchange nearly 1.5 billion “swipes” per day, represents the culmination of these trends in the form of an explicitly personalized, non-neutral approach to connecting users. I argue that these personalization techniques reify preferences and interpersonal categories based on those attributes ...

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Research in Progress: Yang Wang

The Center for Computational and Data Science is pleased to host Yang Wang for our next research-in-progress talk

Title: The Third Wave? Inclusive Privacy and Security
Speaker:  Yang Wang
Date:  November 17, 2017
Time:  12:30 PM
Location:  Hinds Hall Room 120

Abstract: In this talk, I will present my early work-in-progress on inclusive privacy and security, which challenges and complements the mainstream perspectives on privacy and security research that focus on predominately technical work (1st wave) and making technical designs usable (2nd wave).

I propose inclusive privacy and security as the 3rd wave of research. This research is focused on designing privacy and security mechanisms that are inclusive of individuals with various characteristics, abilities, needs, and values.

Bio: Yang is an assistant professor at the iSchool. Before coming to Syracuse, he worked at the CyLab at Carnegie Mellon University as a research scientist for two years. Yang received his Ph.D. from the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at University of California, Irvine. He worked at multiple industry research labs such as Intel Labs, Fuji Xerox Palo Alto Lab (FXPAL), and CommerceNet zLab. Yang was a visiting researcher at Institute of Information Systems, Humboldt University in ...

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Research in Progress: Kevin Crowston


CCDS is excited to announce that we have our first spring semester Research in Progress speaker! 

 Distinguished Professor of Information Science and Associate Dean for Research Kevin Crowston
Title: Supporting Stigmeric Coordination

Date: Friday, March 9th, 2018
Time: 12:30-1:30PM
Location: Bird Library Room 606

Working Abstract: “This project is aimed at the development of theory and tools to improve and support the coordination of distributed teams. Specifically, prior research suggests that free/libre open source software (FLOSS) developers use the software code they are developing as a basis for coordinating their work, a phenomenon known as stigmergic coordination. The goal of the project is to study FLOSS developers to understand how stigmergic coordination works and to develop a system to enable its use in other settings, specifically in big data analysis.

A two-phase study is proposed to achieve these goals: first, identifying the socio-technical affordance enabling stigmergic coordination in FLOSS development teams and similar settings, and second, testing the emerging theoretical understanding by implementing and assessing a system to support stigmergic coordination of distributed work in a new domain. The software system to be developed will be released as open source for use in future research, thus ...

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Deep Learning with TensorFlow: An Introduction for Graduate Students with Roc Myers


The Center for Computational and Data Science presents "Deep Learning with TensorFlow: An Introduction for Graduate Students with Roc Myers". 

Myers received an MS in Information Systems from the University of Southern California and has over 30 years of experience in intelligence systems' operation and development. He is the Founder of Pertis, a company specializing in consulting and research of artificial intelligence and computer gaming technologies. He currently serves as a subject matter expert for CCDS' TRACE Project. 

Myers' discussion will explore uses and strategies for TensorFlow, an open source software library for numerical computation using data flow graphs. 

Please join us on Friday, April 13th, from 10-11am in Hinds 111 for this event! 

Email with questions. 

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Research in Progress: Lu Xiao

Lu Xiao

Please join CCDS for our second spring semester Research in Progress speaker!

Speaker: Lu Xiao
Title: An Exploration of Current Projects
Date: Friday, April 20th, 2018
Time: 2:30-3:30PM
Location: Bird Library Room 114

Associate Professor Lu Xiao will utilize a "mini-unconference" style talk in which she will broadly discuss current projects and will provide further detail on individual projects based on audience interest. 

Xiao's current projects include: computational content analysis of Wikipedia Article for Deletion (AfD) discussions, computational content analysis of holocaust interviews, annotation of rationale-containing comments, and crowdsourcing experiment of iterative writing tasks. 

We hope to see you there!

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Research In Progress: Jeff Hemsley

Jeff Hemsley

Please join CCDS as we welcome Prof. Jeff Hemsley to speak for our first fall 2018 Research-In-Progress presentation! Prof. Hemsley will speak on virality and Dribbble. 

"Virality is a much-studied topic on popular social media sites, but has been rarely explored on niche sites. Dribbble is a niche social networking site for artists and designers with over 600,000 users. Using a mixed-method approach, we explore virality from a user-centric perspective. Interviews with informants confirm that viral-like events do exist on Dribbble, though what spreads are different. With the interviews, we identify the measures and possible driving factors of viral-like events. While what spreads is different than on other platforms, our work suggests that the measures and mechanics that drive these events are similar. This similarity reflects the same fundamental human behavior underlying social phenomenon across different platforms. Our results are supported by regression modeling using variables identified by our informants. Our work contributes to social media studies since smaller sites like Dribbble are rarely studied, particularly using mixed methods approaches, as well as to the body of research around information diffusion and viral events."

We hope to see you there!

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Research in Progress: Jennifer Sonne


Please join CCDS as we welcome iSchool PhD candidate Jennifer Sonne to present her research titled: "Emotional Support and the Role of Emojis in Computer-Mediated Communication."

Current understanding of emojis suggests that emojis help reduce ambiguity in messages and/or change the affective tone of the message. For example, a smiley face might increase certainty that the message is positive whereas a winking face might denote irony or sarcasm. This talk will report on a survey of 195 Amazon Mechanical Turkers who were asked to read three scenarios and answer a series of questions related to their emotional responses and emoji preferences. Theoretically, this study draws on the social information processing theory and emotions as social information (EASI) model to understand the relationship of emojis and emotional support in computer-mediated communication (CMC). This study’s findings corroborate previous research, in that people use emojis to help amplify the informational and emotional content of CMC. Furthermore, the findings suggest that participants feel more certain about choosing emojis in relation to the emotions of sadness and happiness, and feel less certain about choosing emojis in relation to mixed emotions. The findings from this study extend the social information processing theory as well ...

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Future of Work & AI Un-Conference

Future of Work

The Center for Computational and Data Science (CCDS) in the iSchool invites all Syracuse University faculty and PhD students to join us for the Future of Work & AI Un-Conference! 

This is our second Un-Conference, this time led by Distinguished Professor and CCDS Affiliate, Kevin Crowston. CCDS was motivated to organize our first Un-Conference in the fall of 2018 following productive discussions around big idea initiatives that led to ‘Cuse grants. Given the great success we experienced with bringing together faculty from different schools for our first Un-Conference, we’ve decided to host another! 

An Un-Conference is unique in that it is a participant-driven event. This means that our breakout sessions revolve around what you, the participant, wants to discuss and the agenda is set by those who attend. An Un-Conference provides space for peer-to-peer learning, collaboration, and creativity around the themes of Future of Work & AI. The goal of the Un-Conference is for individuals to make connections and formulate plans for collaboration around research and teaching.

The Future of Work & AI Un-Conference will take place April 12th and 13th, 2019 in Hinds Hall. The themes of Future of Work and AI were selected for our Un-Conference given ...

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Visiting Scholar Benjamin Yankson to speak on Privacy Preservation Framework for Smart Connected Devices

Abstract: Societies rely heavily on Information Systems that handle sensitive information to run governments, businesses, and our private lives. Smart Connected Devices (SCDs) are used in all aspects of our modern lives, and are built as part of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology with the potential to collect terabytes of  sensitive personal, contextual, and usage information; introducing ever-increasing privacy, confidentiality, and serious safety concerns in cases where the device can be compromised by a bad actor. The challenge of securing, capturing, transferring, and processing of such big data is amplified as a result of numerous vendors consistently introducing new devices onto the market; without following any industry wide accepted privacy & security framework to minimize violation of core cybersecurity principals. This work has proposed, and designed a privacy framework with a data modeling technique that autonomously preserves privacy of users, and secure data during the SCD transactions. The privacy preservation framework includes a context data model and a privacy-preserving engine that addresses confidentiality of user information, availability, and integrity of the SCD. The privacy-preserving engine is based on the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)’s Policy Framework Architecture (PFA); and depicted by Petri-Nets simulation, which provides privacy assurance in ...

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Research in Progress: Patricia Rossini to speak on Private vs Public Digital Spheres

In this talk, Rossini presents a research-in-progress around the use of WhatsApp for political discussion and (mis)information in Brazil, and some of the challenges around doing research on private social media platforms. Research on the use of social media for political discussion has been primarily focused on social networking sites (SNSs), such as Facebook and Twitter, with less attention to mobile instant messaging services (MIMS) such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Yet, these applications are increasingly central to how people engage with politics, receive information, and participate in discussions in many countries. Considering that much of people’s online activities happen in private spaces, my research examines the dynamics of political discussion and access to news and political information in the ever-changing digital world by examining the differences and similarities in how private and public social media platforms are used to participate in political discussions, to access and share news, and the extent to which the use of these platforms may contribute to expose people to misinformation. 

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Research in Progress: Carsten Østerlund to speak on Building an Apparatus: Refractive, Reflective & Diffractive Readings of Trace Data

Professor Carsten Østerlund will speak on the topic of his recent paper, titled "Building an Apparatus: Refractive, Reflective & Diffractive Readings of Trace Data", co-authored by Kevin Crowston and Corey Jackson.


We propose a set of methodological principles and strategies for the use of trace data, i.e., data capturing performances carried out on or via information systems, often at a fine level of detail. Trace data comes with a number of methodological and theoretical challenges associated with the inseparable nature of the social and material. Drawing on Haraway and Barad’s distinctions among refraction, reflection and diffraction, we compare three approaches to trace data analysis. We argue that a diffractive methodology allows us to explore how trace data are not given but created through construction of a research apparatus to study trace data. By focusing on the diffractive ways in which traces ripple through an apparatus, it is possible to explore some of the taken-for-granted, invisible dynamics of sociomateriality. Equally important, this approach allows us to describe what distinctions emerge and when, within entwined phenomena in the research process. Empirically, we illustrate the guiding methodological principles and strategies by analyzing trace data from Gravity Spy, a crowdsourced citizen ...

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Post-Truth, Fake News, and Democracy: A Critical Examination

Join CCDS as we welcome Johan Farkas to the iSchool on Wednesday, September 25th, to discuss "Post-Truth, Fake News, and Democracy: A Critical Examination". This event is targeted towards faculty and PhD students, with a lunch for PhD students with Johan following this talk. 

Democracies are currently under siege, as fake news are flooding social media and post-truth sentiments roam throughout society. This dystopian narrative has come to dominate political agendas across the globe. To save democracy – a number of voices argue – radical measures are needed. Indeed, for many, truth must be restored at all cost. In this talk, Johan Farkas critically examines these contemporary post-truth discourses by honing in on and challenging their democratic underpinnings.

Drawing on rich empirical material, the talk unpacks how post-truth discourses presuppose a certain normative idea of what democracy is and ought to be. Not only is democracy configured as a static construct in these discourses, it is also equated very narrowly with evidence-based decision-making and truth-telling practices. Engaging with critical political philosophy, Farkas highlights how these ‘democratic imaginaries’ neglect how democracy has never been about truth, evidence and rationality alone. It is equally about the voice of the democratic people. By neglecting this ...

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Research in Progress: Steve Sawyer

Coworking, Work, & Workspaces

Steve Sawyer's talk on Coworking, Work, & Workspaces is focused on pursuing two contributions. The first contribution is in theorizing coworking spaces as both a locus of work and as a cross-organizational form of localized community. As a locus of work, coworking spaces bring together independent workers, entrepreneurs, small-business, remote workers, and others.  Second, coworking spaces create the potential to provide a set of professional social relations across participants that reflects more on their choice of location than professional connection. In both cases, the ‘community manager,’ is charged with supporting the coworkers (through a range of services that varies across spaces) and creating social connections (through a range of professional and social events, attentive social media practices and online engagement). To pursue these contributions we combine interviews, observation, and secondary data collection (from the web). To begin our study, we chose Boston, MA (USA) as the geographic locus of our coworking space study, with the goal of learning about the ways in which these spaces adapted to survive in this area. We drew on substantial secondary data to identify the coworking spaces and managers to study (e.g., WeWorks’ focus on office support relative to ...

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Research in Progress: Josh Introne

Josh Introne

Join us Friday, November 22nd, from 12-1pm in Katzer for a Research in Progress Presentation with Assistant Professor Josh Introne.

Introne will speak on how narratives are fundamental to how people construct socially shared belief systems, and can become powerful carriers for online misinformation. It is therefore imperative that we develop a better understanding of the interplay between beliefs, misinformation, and narratives in the online social contexts.

In this talk, Assistant Professor Josh Introne will report on two ongoing projects that apply a narrative lens to examine online belief ecosystems. In the first, he applies a story grammar to collect and and catalog conspiracy theories that circulate in online vaccination discussions.  In the second, he uses a general model to examine how a preference for coherent beliefs (or knowledge) interacts with social pressure to alter opinion dynamics in a simulated population. As part of the latter project, he will also introduce a probabilistic method for inducing coherence relationships among an arbitrary set of online digital artifacts from empirical data. 

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Undergraduate Illuminating Capstone Presentations

On December 4th, from 10-11:30am, several of the undergraduate students who have been working on Illuminating this semester will present research they have been conducting as part of their capstone projects. 

Please join us in Hinds 121 to hear how engagement metrics relate to types of political messages; what the candidates are saying or doing on the topic of the economy; and other projects!

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CANCELLED - Research in Progress: Melinda Sebastian

Melinda Sebastian

Please join us Friday, March 13, from 1-2pm for a Research in Progress presentation with Melinda Sebastian. Melinda will speak on "Adopting an Intersectional Approach: Generative Talk in STEM Teacher Professional Development"

This work builds on years of qualitative data, observation, and analysis of STEM teacher professional development. The research team's most recent work has been on developing a methodology that better addresses the multimodal realities through which their participants experience professional development. The project will consist of two parts, with Part 1) focusing on face to face and video chat data and analysis and Part 2) focusing on computer mediated communication including our software and the social media application Twitter for information seeking and maintenance of best research practice.

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CCDS Presents Virtual Research in Progress Talk with Jeff Stanton and Yisi Sang

CCDS presents our inaugural Virtual Research in Progress Talk with Yisi Sang and Jeff Stanton. Faculty and PhD students welcomed. 

Analytic Challenges with Hate Speech on Reddit 

The ubiquity of online media services like Reddit helps to promote free speech but also provides opportunities for the spread of problematic content such as hate speech. A group of individuals known as “incels” (involuntary celibates) sometimes use online media services to publish hateful content. To expose and condemn incel hate speech, other individuals, sometimes called “incel hunters,” create online communities where they critique screenshots of content posted by incels. In this session we will describe our efforts to analyze 18,187 posts collected from a subreddit named r/IncelTears where those critiques appeared. Our work begins to explore whether and how screenshots of incel hate speech and corresponding oppositional statements might be transformed into training data that could be used as the basis for automated or semi-automated content moderation.

Yisi Sang is a second year doctoral student in the iSchool’s Information Science and Technology Ph.D. program. She has research interests in online hate speech, text mining and analysis, and content moderation methods.

Jeff Stanton is a professor at the iSchool ...

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CCDS Presents: Virtual Summer Talk with Raquel Racuero - Disinformation, Political Networks and Social Media in Brazil


Wednesday, June 17, 2020 12:00-1:00PM EST

Disinformation, Political Networks and Social Media in Brazil

This talk will discuss research results about how Brazilian political networks spread and legitimate disinformation on social media, focusing on types, characteristics and discursive strategies. 

Raquel Recuero is a professor at Federal University of Pelotas (UFPEL) and Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Brazil, and a researcher for the National Research Council (CNPq). She is also the lead of MIDIARS (Research Laboratory on Discourse, Social Media and Social Networks). 

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