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Year of Exploration lecture series to examine functioning of terror networks


In an age when people can communicate through shared computer screens from distant locations, instant messaging on cell phones, or e-mail accessed through portable wireless devices, it’s easy to forget the importance of face-to-face contact, especially in developing trust and forging new partnerships. That’s why the School of Information Studies and the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) launched The Year of Exploration, a series of lectures and workshops aimed at bringing together members of those colleges, as well as other campus and business community members, to discuss the networked information society.



As part of the Year of Exploration, Kathleen Carley, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science, will speak tomorrow, February 28, at 1:30 p.m. in the Katzer Collaboratory, 347 Hinds Hall. She will address the topic Assessing Terror Networks. The lecture is open to the public.


Carley’s discussion will focus on the structure and vulnerabilities of terrorist groups and the role of dynamic network techniques in assessing them. Dynamic network techniques differ from traditional social network techniques in that they make it possible to simultaneously consider multiple, probabilistic, and evolving connections among various entities such as people, resources, events, and locations rather than just binary connections among people at a single time period. In other words, dynamic network techniques allow us to ask who is critical, what resources to they have, and why.


“Our initial goal was to find the overlap of common research interests between the information and engineering schools and to develop interdisciplinary synergies,” says Trustee Professor Liz Liddy G’77, G’88 of the School of Information Studies, an organizer of the series.” We want to encourage an opening of people’s minds, to get them all in the same room thinking about topics of mutual interest, and to find the connections with each other.”


Kathleen Carley is a professor for Software Research International at the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the director of the Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems, a university wide interdisciplinary center that brings together network analysis, computer science and organization science. Her research combines cognitive science, dynamic social networks, text processing, organizations, and social and computer science in a variety of theoretical and applied venues.

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