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02 Apr / 2014
Author: Alberto Cottica Tags: , , Comments: 3

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Masters of Networks is essentially a hackathon. There will be no talks except a very short introduction by me. While hackathons typically organize themselves given good wi-fi and enough caffeine, we thought we would give it a modicum of structure. It works like this:

There will be two teams. Each is manned by at least one policy maker with a burning question; one network scientist; one developer who can hack around code on the fly; and – ideally, one statistician to secure whatever statistical analysis we might need to do. Each is equipped with one or more datasets. Here are the core teams:

Team 1 – Algorithmic detection of specialization in online conversations

  • What we do: we prototype a method for detecting emergent groups of “citizen specialists” in online consultations; people that bootstrap each other into a sort of informal high-level working group.
  • This is relevant because: emergent specialization is likely to increase the firepower of the citizens collective intelligence in online consultation. And the better open online consultations work, the less dependent we are on closed-doors consultation with lobbyists and entrenched incumbents.
  • Asking the question: Alberto Cottica
  • Drawing the network: Benjamin Renoust
  • Writing the code: Luca Mearelli
  • Crunching the numbers: Raffaele Miniaci
  • Dataset: the Edgeryders online conversation

Team 2 – Patterns in research funding in Italy

  • What we do: we look for brokerage and dominant positions in entities receiving research funding from the Italian ministry of education.
  • This is relevant because:  the ministry strives for a strictly merit-based allocation of funding, and is interested in detecting any patterns in funding that might carry information in this sense.
  • Asking the question: Fabrizio Cobis and collaborators
  • Drawing the network: Guy Melançon
  • Writing the code: Matteo Fortini
  • Crunching the numbers: Raffaele Miniaci
  • Dataset: the PON-REC open datasets.

How it works

You show up at 10.00. On Wednesday 9th, I (Alberto) will give a warmup presentation on what it means for policy makers to think in networks. Then we tackle the questions, and try to get to some answers by using network science and code. We add coffee as appropriate. It’s that simple. Maps and more practical info here.

What if I am not allocated to any team?

We build teams just to save time. Pick the one you like best and get your hands dirty. There is plenty of room for everyone.

Do you guys have a hashtag?

Sure! #MoN2

Sounds awesome! Can I come?

We still have one or two places. Contact alberto [at] cottica [dot] net