Cornell University

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CAM Colloquium: Mason Porter (UCLA) - Opinion dynamics and spreading models on social networks

Friday, November 6, 2020 at 3:30pm

Virtual Event

From the spreading of diseases and memes to the development of opinions and social influence, dynamical processes are affected significantly by the networks on which they occur. In this talk, I'll review recent work by my collaborators and me on social influence and opinion models on networks. I'll discuss diverse flavors of models --- including threshold models of social contagions, voter models that coevolve with network structure, and bounded-confidence models with continuous opinions --- and present how such processes are affected by the networks on which they occur. I'll also connect these models to opinion polarization, the "majority illusion" in social networks, and the development of echo chambers in online social networks.

Mason Porter is a professor in the Department of Mathematics at UCLA. He earned a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Caltech in 1998 and a Ph.D. from the Center for Applied Mathematics at Cornell University in 2002. He held postdoctoral positions at Georgia Tech, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, and Caltech. He joined the faculty at University of Oxford in 2007 and moved to UCLA in 2016. Mason is a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, American Physical Society, and Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. In recognition of his mentoring of undergraduate researchers, Mason won the 2017 Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Faculty Mentoring Award in the Advanced Career Category in the Mathematics and Computer Science Division. Thus far, 24 students have completed their PhD degrees under Mason's mentorship, and Mason has also mentored several postdocs, more than 30 Masters students, and more than 90 undergraduate students on research projects. Mason's research interests lie in theory and (rather diverse) applications of networks, complex systems, and nonlinear systems.

Zoom Link Access:
This talk will be given via Zoom, and the link is emailed to the CAM Seminar listserv the week of the talk. If you are not on the listserv, please contact Erika Fowler-Decatur to request the link. 

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Event Type



Center for Applied Mathematics


engineering, calmath

Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Erika Fowler-Decatur


Mason Porter

Speaker Affiliation

Department of Mathematics, UCLA

Dept. Web Site