Professor in Political Science and Computer and Information Science

David Lazer

Research Tracks Overview

Journal Article
Publication date: 
12/2014
Authors: 
Thomas T. Hills
Peter M. Todd
David Lazer
A. David Redish
Iain D. Couzin
The Cognitive Research Group

Search is a ubiquitous property of life. Although diverse domains have worked on search problems largely in isolation, recent trends across disciplines indicate that the formal properties of these problems share similar structures and, often, similar solutions.

Journal Article
Publication date: 
01/2015
Authors: 
William Minozzi
Michael Neblo
Kevin M. Esterling
David Lazer

Do leaders persuade? Social Scientists have long studied the relationship between elite behavior and mass opinion. However, there is surprisingly little evidence regarding direct persuasion by leaders. Here we show that political leaders can persuade their constituents directly on three dimensions: substantive attitudes regarding policy issues, attributions regarding the leaders' qualities, and subsequent voting behavior.

Journal Article
Publication date: 
10/2014
Authors: 
Yu-Ru Lin
Drew B. Margolin
David Lazer

Developing technologies that support collaboration requires understanding how knowledge and expertise are shared and distributed among community members. We explore two forms of knowledge distribution structures, coordination and cooperation, that are central to successful collaboration. We propose a novel method for detecting the coordination of strategic communication among members of political communities.

Keywords: 
semantic burst
semantic convergence
burst detection
coordination
cooperation
social networks
Publication date: 
03/2017
Authors: 
Yu-Ru Lin
Drew B. Margolin
David Lazer

Developing technologies that support collaboration requires understanding how knowledge and expertise are shared and distributed among communuity members. We explore two forms of knowledge distribution structures, coordination and cooperation, that are central to successful collaboration. We propose a novel method for  detecting the coordination of strategic communication among members of political communities.

Keywords: 
semantic burst
semantic convergence
burst detection
coordination
cooperation
social networks
Journal Article
Publication date: 
07/2014
Authors: 
Jukka-Pekka Onnela
Benjamin N. Waber
Alex `Sandy' Pentland
Sebastian Schnorff
David Lazer

Research on human social interactions has traditionally relied on self-reports. Despite their widespread use, self-reported accounts of behaviour are prone to biases and necessarily reduce the range of behaviours, and the number of subjects, that may be studied simultaneously. The development of ever smaller sensors makes it possible ot study group-level human behaviour in naturalistic settings outside research laboratories.

Journal Article
Publication date: 
05/2014
Authors: 
Yu-Ru Lin
Brian Keegan
Drew B. Margolin
David Lazer

"Media events" generate conditions of shared attention as many users simultaneously tune in with the dual screens of broadcast and social media to view and participate. We examine how collective patterns of user behavior under conditions of shared attention are distinct from other "bursts" of activity like breaking news events.

Journal Article
Publication date: 
01/2014
Authors: 
Scott D. McClurg
David Lazer

Politics is, at its core, a network phenomenon. Power - the central construct of political science - is intrinsically relational, where power exists between actors and among actors in a complex, differentiated fashion. India looms large for Nepal, not for Iceland. My boss is important to me, not you. More generally, we talk to people who affect what we think. Access and relationships among the powerful is indisputably important.

Journal Article
Publication date: 
07/2013
Authors: 
Yaniv Altshuler
Michael Fire
Erez Shmueli
Yuval Elovici
Alfred Bruckstein
Alex `Sandy' Pentland
David Lazer

This paper develops a methodology to aggregate signals in a network regarding some hidden state of the world. We argue that focusing on edges around hubs will under certain circumstances amplify the faint signals disseminating in a network, allowing for more efficient detection of that hidden state.

Peer Reviewed Computer Science Conference
Publication date: 
02/2016
Authors: 
David Lazer
Oren Tsur
Tina Eliassi-Rad

"Man is by nature a political animal," as asserted by Aristotle. This political nature manifests itself in the data we produce and the traces we leave online. In this tutorial, we address a number of fundamental issues regarding mining of political data: What types of data would be considered political? What can we learn from such data? Can we use the data for prediction of political changes, etc?

Keywords: 
computational social science
political data
social and information networks
graph mining.
Journal Article
Publication date: 
03/2017
Authors: 
Michael Neblo
William Minozzi
Kevin Esterling
Jonathan Kingzette
Jon Green
David Lazer

The bitterly factious 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign was the culmination of several trends that, taken together, constitute a syndrome of chronic ailments in the body politic. Ironically, these destructive trends have accelerated just as science has rapidly improved our understanding of them and their underlying causes. But mere understanding is not sufficient to repair our politics.

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