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Title: Modeling Opinion Dynamics in the Age of Algorithmic PersonalizationSpeaker: Nicola Perra, Greenwich UniversityDate: Tuesday, April 30th, 2019Time: 11:00amLocation: 11th floor, 177 Huntington Ave, Boston MA, 02115AbstractModern technology has drastically changed the way we interact and consume information. For example,online social platforms allow for seamless communication exchanges at an unprecedented scale. However, we are still bounded by cognitive and temporal constraints. Our attention is limited and extremely valuable. Algorithmic personalization has become a standard approach to tackle the information overload problem. As result, the exposure to our friends’ opinions and our perception about important issues might be distorted. However, the effects of algorithmic gatekeeping on our hyper-connected society are poorly understood.During the talk, I will discuss a model of opinion dynamics where individuals are connected through a social network and adopt opinions as function of the view points they are exposed to. I will consider various filtering algorithms that select the opinions shown to each user i) at random ii) considering time ordering or iii) her current opinion. Furthermore, I will analyze the interplay between such mechanisms and crucial features of real networksAbout the SpeakerNicola Perra serves as Associate Professor in Network Science in Business School of Greenwich University in London, UK. He received his PhD in Physics from the University of Cagliari, Italy in 2011. In 2009 he joined the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research at Indiana University as a Research Associate. From September 2011 until August 2014 he was a Post-Doctoral Research Scientist at the Laboratory for the Modeling of Biological and Technical Systems at Northeastern University. From September 2014 until July 2015 he served as Associate Research Scientist at Northeastern University in Boston, USA. His research focuses on human dynamics, dynamical processes on complex networks, big-data analytics, and mathematical/digital epidemiology. He is the co-organizer of Databeers London, and of the Computational Social Science Initiative London.

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