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YINS Distinguished Lecture Series, 11/8/15: “Network Science: From the Online World to Cancer Genomics”

Everywhere we turn these days, we find that networks can be used to describe relevant interactions.  In the high tech world, we see the Internet, the World Wide Web, mobile phone networks, and a variety of online social networks.  In economics, we are increasingly experiencing both the positive and negative effects of a global networked economy.  In epidemiology, we find disease spreading over our ever growing social networks, complicated by mutation of the disease agents.

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YINS Distinguished Lecture, 10/14/15: "Social Network Analysis for Prediction and Influence of User Behavior in a Smart Electrical Grid"

As smart grid technologies become more pervasive in society, smart grid users must properly adopt and use the technology to get the full benefit of the technology. We demonstrate how social network models can be used to simulate these behaviors and the impact of social influence. We use these models to analyze how the individual users will act and how we can influence them to act in a socially beneficial manner.

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November 24, 2015

‘Outsiders’ Crack 50-Year-Old Math Problem

YINS co-director Dan Spielman (along with his postdoc Adam Marcus, now at Princeton University, and his graduate student Nikhil Srivastava, now at the University of California, Berkeley) finally succeeded in solving the Kadison-Singer problem, a question about the foundations of quantum physics that had remained unsolved for almost 50 years.  And they did it despite knowing little of quantum mechanics or the Kadison-Singer problem’s allied mathematical field, called C*-algebras. Word spread quickly through the mathematics community that one of the paramount problems in C*-algebras and a host of other fields had been solved by three outsiders — computer scientists who had barely a nodding acquaintance with the disciplines at the heart of the problem. Mathematicians in these disciplines have greeted the news with a combination of delight and hand-wringing.

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