RAND Statistics Seminar Series

Enabling Knowledge Networks in 21st Century Organizational Forms: From Disasters to WoW

Presented by Dr. Noshir Contractor, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Thursday, July 26, 2007
10:30 A.M. PDT
Conference Rooms 1226 & 1228
RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA
Please contact Denise Miller if you would like to attend this seminar.


Advances in digital technologies (e.g, Web 2.0) invite consideration of organizing within communities as a process accomplished by global, flexible, adaptive, and ad hoc networks that can be created, maintained, dissolved, and reconstituted with remarkable alacrity. Increasingly these networks are multidimensional including individuals as well as digital artifacts and concepts. This presentation makes the case for a new generation of theorizing about social processes in these multidimensional networks. It proposes a contextually based multi-theoretical multilevel (MTML) model to investigate the dynamics for creating, maintaining, dissolving, and reconstituting these social and knowledge networks in diverse communities. Using examples from his research on communities involved in disaster response, environmental engineering, public health, economic resilience, and massively multiplayer online games (e.g. World of Warcraft, WoW), Contractor illustrates the potential of the MTML framework to statistically model how social and knowledge networks are enabled by Web 2.0 technologies.

Speaker Bio

Noshir Contractor http://www.spcomm.uiuc.edu/Nosh/ is a Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Director of the Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Group at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Starting this Fall, he will be the Jane S. and William J. White Professor at Northwestern University in Industrial Engineering & Management Science, Communication and the Kellogg School of Management. His research program, funded continuously for the past decade by major grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation, is investigating factors that lead to formation, maintenance, and dissolution of dynamically linked knowledge networks in 21st century organizational forms. He is the lead developer of IKNOW (Inquiring Knowledge Networks On the Web), a community-ware web-based software http://www.spcomm.uiuc.edu/TECLAB/iknow/ and Blanche, a software program to simulate the dynamics of social networks http://www.spcomm.uiuc.edu/Teclab/Blanche/.

Attending a Seminar

Other Locations/Times:
Washington, D.C. Conf. Rm. 4132: 1:30 p.m. EDT
Pittsburgh Conf. Rm. 6202: 1:30 p.m. EDT

Visitors to RAND's Santa Monica and Pittsburgh locations are welcome to attend and must RSVP at least one day prior to the seminar. To ensure your attendance please contact Denise Miller at dmiller@rand.org with your name, company (or university) affiliation, and national citizenship (for security purposes).

For parking and directions to RAND's Santa Monica office, please see: http://www.rand.org/about/locations/santa-monica.html.

For parking and directions to RAND's Pittsburgh office, please see: http://www.rand.org/about/locations/pittsburgh.html.

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